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December 18, 2018

Trash trucker in Brooklyn crash that wrecked nine cars freed on bail

June 15, 2018
Anthony Castaldo (wearing orange shirt) leaves Brooklyn Criminal Court after posting $5,000 bail. (Alex Rud for New York Daily News)

A garbage truck driver who walked away from a wild crash that wrecked nine cars on a quiet Brooklyn street walked out of court Sunday after posting $5,000 bail.

“I’m sorry. I was driving and I fell asleep,” Anthony Castaldo, 40, told cops after he crashed his truck on 60th St. between 19th and 20th Aves. in Borough Park early Saturday, according to the criminal complaint.




Castaldo was driving the Viking Sanitation truck while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, Brooklyn prosecutors allege. He’s also charged with reckless driving, reckless endangement and leaving the scene of an accident.

Video of the crash shows the 2017 Mack garbage truck — which weighs 32 tons — plowing into nine cars as it zoomed up onto a sidewalk just feet from an apartment building at 5:20 a.m.

Castaldo got out of the truck, and is seen on the video climbing over a stoop the truck just missed. Then he walks away.

He didn’t go far. Police said that when they arrived, Castaldo was standing next to the truck and its engine was still running.

His speech was slurred, he walked with an “unsteady gait,” and he had an odor of alcohol on his breath, the criminal complaint says.

The out-of-control private sanitation trucker wrecked nine cars.
The out-of-control private sanitation trucker wrecked nine cars. (Vic Nicastro / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

Castaldo has a record of four misdemeanor arrests — including a reckless driving charge in 2016, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office.

Prosecutors sought $7,500 bail. But Castaldo’s lawyer, Sanford Talkin, asked that his client be freed without posting cash or bond. “We won’t have to worry about him driving because his license has been suspended,” Talkin said.

Castaldo’s girlfriend and brother posted the $5,000 bail and the suspect left the courthouse minutes later. Castaldo declined comment.

Viking Sanitation did not immediately respond to a request for comment. On Saturday, the company said it holds itself to “high standards.”

Crashes involving private trash carters killed 43 New Yorkers between 2010 and 2017, city data show.

Saturday’s crash came a day after a coalition of labor and environmental groups wrote to Mayor de Blasio to argue for more aggressive regulation of the private carting industry.

“The private carting industry desperately needs aggressive regulation because of widespread abuses,” said the letter from Teamsters Council 16, the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance, the Alliance for a Greater New York, and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest.




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