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Allentown Truck Trip

Allentown Truck Trip:  Man Drove With 9 Children In The Back Of His Pick-Up Truck

When we heard about the Allentown truck trip that took place last week, we couldn’t believe it.  Riding in the open bed of a pickup truck just isn’t safe. When the vehicle goes over a sudden bump or stop, the passengers in an open bed get thrown around.  In many instances they can even get thrown out of the bed. This can be lethal in traffic, or in the event of a motor vehicle accident.

In a truck wreck, a truck could go from 45 miles per hour to a dead stop just from colliding with another vehicle. However, a person traveling in the truck bed would continue to travel at 45 miles per hour when the rest of the truck stopped, which at the very least would cause severe injuries, but more typically ejects the passenger from the truck.

At that point, hitting the road at 45 miles per hour can cause serious injuries. Even worse, though, is being ejected in traffic, because it’s possible for people to then land in front of oncoming traffic. People die every year in open bed truck accidents and it’s so dangerous that it’s simply not worth the risk.

That’s what makes what happened during the Allentown truck trip that took place last week so unbelievable.  The driver in the Allentown truck trip incident was lucky the situations did not end up being worse than it was.

A man from Philadelphia took a large group of family and friends to visit Dorney Park in Allentown last weekend.  The problem was that he made the 60 mile voyage with kids and teens in the back of his flatbed truck.

The Morning Call reported that officers were called to Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom at 8:30 p.m. for a complaint about a truck.  They discovered a Ford flatbed truck with plywood siding.  Behind the siding, the police officer found 10 people, including 9 kids, laying on makeshift benches.  Instead of seat belts they were covered in blankets.

Police said Gustavo Duran-Ochoa drove the truck about 60 miles during the Allentown truck trip.  He left from his business in Philadelphia and drove all the way to the amusement park with over 10 family and friends in the back. The minors stretched in ages from 7 to 17.

There were other adults also present during the Allentown truck trip, but Duran-Ochoa was the only person charged because he was driving the truck, police said.

Police said the group spent the day at the park and after 34-year-old Duran-Ochoa was arrested.  The family and friends took taxis to get home when Duran-Ochoa was taken into custody.

Duran-Ochoa is charged with nine counts each of reckless endangerment and child passengers in an open truck. Duran-Ochoa was arraigned this morning and released on $20,000.00 bail.

The Allentown truck trip is not the only example of parents making irresponsible driving decisions with their children that occurred this summer.

A 12 year old girl died in June after she and five playmates were forced to sit on the roof of a moving car, because they had wet bathing suits on.  Octavia Watkins and her friends, aged 8-14,

Kisha Young and Octavia’s mother arrived at the pool in Young’s Chevrolet Malibu to pick up the girls.  The girls were ordered to sit on the roof of the car but four of them were thrown off when Young went around a corner.

Watkins suffered severe head injuries from her fall. The little girl was take off life support at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, NBC reports.

Three other children who suffered injuries during the fall were released from the hospital, WFAA reports.
“The adults involved are responsible for the children, and whatever happens to them while they are in their care,” said Crowley police officer CC Meadows.

Texas’ Child Protective Services is investigating both women. The surviving children were all taken away from their mothers and placed in the custody of relatives.

Octavia was knocked unconscious in the fall, suffering severe head injuries. She died in hospital after being kept alive by life support.

“I’ll never get my baby back,” Octavia’s father Desmond told Fox 4 News.

“I’ll never hear her say, ‘Hey, Daddy.’ I’m gonna have to live with that; they’re have to live with their fate.”

So, as you can see, Duran-Ochoa is lucky his Allentown truck trip did not end up worse.

About John Fox

John Fox has been a practicing AV Preeminent rated personal injury Lawyer since 1980. John Fox's litigation and trial experience encompasses trucking accidents with catastrophic injuries; automobile accidents; premises liability lawsuits; tanker truck accidents; environmental claims, national fraternity personal injury cases, medical malpractice, and business dispute litigation.

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