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Fatal accident claims the life of traffic agent

A New York traffic enforcement agent was killed while on the job on Nov. 30 after a vacuum truck hit him. Reports say that the 71-year-old man became trapped underneath one of the truck's tires.

A witness explained that the death was a freak accident. According to the account, the man was clipped by the vehicle and then fell under the truck. A short time later, a bus that was attempting to park directly in front of the truck hit the vehicle. The drivers involved did not suffer any injuries, and both stayed at the scene and cooperated with officials. The truck driver was not charged for the man's death, although authorities are continuing to look into the accident.

The police commissioner expressed his reaction to the accident as 'gut-wrenching." He released a statement explaining that the position is often difficult and dangerous. Traffic enforcement agents write parking tickets, direct traffic and handle other traffic-related business, and the holiday season is typically very busy for those working in the profession.

In response to the man's death, Mayor Bloomberg made a statement thanking other traffic agents for their hard work, and he expressed his sympathy to the man's family. In an interview, the deceased's son-in-law said that he admired the man, who he says enjoyed the job because he was helping others. He was an immigrant from Sri Lanka and had been married for more than 50 years.

A death like the one in this case may put the surviving family members under financial stress because they may now be responsible for costs related to the death as well day-to-day expenses. When the deceased was a wage earner, the burden can be even greater. Families who are facing such circumstances may be able to alleviate that burden by pursuing a wrongful death claim against liable parties for monetary compensation in civil court.

Source: ABC News, "NYPD Traffic Agent Struck, Killed by Truck in NYC", Jake Pearson, December 01, 2013

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