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Bronx Neighbors Say Speeding City Snow Plow Truck Smashed Into Their Cars

Dept. Of Sanitation Looking Into Incident That Resulted In Damage To 7 Vehicles
Surveillance video captured what appeared to be a NYC Department of Sanitation snow plow damaging cars during the snow storm on March 18, 2013. (Photo: CBS 2)

Surveillance video captured what appeared to be a NYC Department of Sanitation snow plow damaging cars during the snow storm on March 18, 2013. (Photo: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Neighbors in the Castle Hill section of the Bronx were furious this week, after a city snow plow truck was allegedly caught on camera barreling down the street and damaging seven cars.

As CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider reported Wednesday, the cars on Castle Hill Avenue were left sideswiped and smashed.

Randy Bhigroog’s taillight was broken, and his mirror was ripped off. The side of his father’s Toyota truck was torn apart.

“It just messes up your whole day,” Bhigroog said.

People in the neighborhood initially thought it was a case of vandalism, but the owner of a nearby store has a surveillance camera that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

He said he watched the video for three hours, until he finally saw the culprit barreling into the shot.

“I noticed it was a large, orange emergency vehicle spreading salt that damaged all the vehicles, and the impact was tremendous,” said Eric Hoepelman, whose car was also damaged. “It looked like a bomb went off.”

When neighbors examined the surveillance video closely, they saw it was a city Department of Sanitation plow truck.

“The man must’ve been doing 50 mph,” Hoepelman said.

The plow hit a Toyota truck, causing it to slam into the car in front of it. The alarm and lights went off.

Seven cars down the line sustained damage.

Hoepelman said he has been calling the Department of Sanitation, demanding answers and dollars, but he has received no response.

“My tax dollars fund the guy that destroyed my car,” Hoepelman said. “They fund that truck, they pay that guy’s salary, they pay his boss’ salary, and no one’s reached me.”

The Department of Sanitation did issue a statement about the incident, saying it “has referred the surveillance video to its investigative division for investigation,” and it is urging the people affected to “file a claim with the NYC Comptroller’s office.”

Neighbors said the problem is the city’s responsibility to fix.

“I just want my car repaired,” Hoepelman said. “That’s all I want.”

The incident happened at 11 p.m. Friday. The speed limit on the road where it happened is 30 mph.

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