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Meat truck driver charged in stinky spill

2014-08-25T19:00:00Z Meat truck driver charged in stinky spillDON LEHMAN - dlehman@poststar.com Glens Falls Post-Star
August 25, 2014 7:00 pm  • 

QUEENSBURY -- A driver for an Albany transportation company has been charged in connection with last month’s spill of rancid meat on Aviation Road that resulted in numerous vehicles stinking for days.

Vincent E. Howard of Albany, a driver for Baker Commodities Inc. of Albany, was charged with two counts of disposing of refuse on a highway, one count each by State Police and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The charge is a noncriminal violation of state Vehicle & Traffic Law.

Howard was in the area, picking up expired meat and grease from restaurants to take to a rendering plant. A door was not secured on a truck Howard drove, and as he went up the hill on Aviation Road, the door opened and meat inside slid off the truck, police report.

Numerous pieces of meat, apparently chicken fat, fell from the truck onto the road in front of Aviation Mall. Dozens of vehicles drove through it and wound up having to be cleaned to remove the remnants, which left horrific smells behind.

Local car washes reported some motorists going through numerous times to clean the undercarriages of their vehicles.

State Police were able to track down the truck driver, thanks to a witness who came forward to The Post-Star after the paper ran an article about the meat spill.

The witness reported seeing meat falling from a truck that was southbound on the Northway in Queensbury that day.

James Teele, a Saratoga Springs resident who drove through the smeared meat on his way home from work, said he had his Toyota 4Runner washed five times — three times at a car wash, two times by hand — to get rid of the smell.

He said he had to drive around with his car windows open for the first three days, and the odor was still noticeable five days after he drove over the meat.

“By the third day it had really gotten better and by the fifth day I only occasionally caught a whiff,” he said.

Vincent DeMarco, manager of Baker Commodities’ office in Albany, did not return a phone call for comment Monday.

When interviewed last month, he acknowledged that a driver for the company was in the Glens Falls area that day, but said no problems were reported during the trip.

Copyright 2015 Glens Falls Post-Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(5) Comments

  1. Cricket
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    Cricket - August 31, 2014 5:49 am
    Definitely newsworthy. Especially if your car was one that was affected. This company wanted to deliberately skirt their responsibility. They were afraid of catching fines and probably having to reimburse the cost of car cleanings due to their own negligence. They were cowards. What do YOU consider newsworthy BTW? What only affects YOU?
  2. hammer54
    Report Abuse
    hammer54 - August 30, 2014 9:33 pm
    You people are people making a big fuss over nothing. It's no worse than running over a dead skunk or other dead critter in the road.
  3. Bob1234
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    Bob1234 - August 26, 2014 9:42 am
    Another example of incompetence and a lack of integrity in business. Imagine what else happens behind closed doors that gets covered up....
  4. justanotherNYer
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    justanotherNYer - August 26, 2014 8:23 am
    The reason it may be newsworthy is that the incident was covered up. If the commodity company denied any wrongdoing when they were contacted, either they were lying or the driver never reported it. Either way it was negligence on their part. If the door was not closed properly and opened up, eventually the driver would have noticed the next time he stopped and got out of his truck. Apparently there were multiple drivers affected by the spill and some may have had considerable inconvenience and expense to clean their vehicles when it was of no fault of their own. They were just driving along on the road. Baker should have performed their own investigation and attempted to make things right with all the motorists involved, even if it was just an apology. If found guilty this driver should have the maximum fines/penalty levied against him by the local and DEC authorities, especially since it went un reported and took a witness to get to this point.
  5. JHuners
    Report Abuse
    JHuners - August 26, 2014 6:55 am
    Not news worthy

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