Garbage truck driver gets probation in fatal crash

RIVERHEAD - A garbage truck driver involved in a deadly accident in Fort Salonga was sentenced today to three years probation.

Robert Moore, of Ridge, was behind the wheel of a Jet Sanitation truck when its brakes failed, causing the vehicle to flip over on Bread and Cheese Hollow Road in June 2009. The truck crushed the car of 56-year-old Deborah Shavalier as she was waiting at a traffic light, killing the Northport woman.

Moore and his employer were originally charged with criminally negligent homicide, alleging the truck had 28 safety violations. However, questions arose about a possible factory defect in the truck, and why the driver didn't lower his extra axle for better control. Today, the judge accepted a guilty plea from Jet Sanitation and Moore to criminally negligent assault, a lesser charge.

Moore apologized in court and Shavalier's family read a statement forgiving him, but not Jet Sanitation, which was fined $5,000 for the accident. The company's attorney, Ray Perini, says safety corrections have been made.

The lawyers for Shavalier's family say they will proceed with a civil lawsuit against Jet Sanitation.

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