Grand Avenue sees death of two truck drivers

Two dead in separate Maspeth incidents on same day

By Jessica Meditz

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One of the crashes occurred at the intersection of Borden and Grand Avenues in Maspeth. Photo by Robert Baranja.

Two truck drivers died within hours of each other in two separate incidents on Wednesday while working on Grand Avenue in Maspeth.

The first crash occurred at around 2:50 a.m. on Nov. 9, when 49-year-old Chad Hallenbeck of East Durham, N.Y. was struck in front of 56-05 Grand Avenue by a 2007 Chevy sedan going westbound, according to police.

When officers from the 104th Precinct responded, they observed Hallenbeck unconscious and unresponsive, lying on the roadway with severe body trauma.

Emergency Medical Services pronounced him dead at the scene, and transported the operator of the sedan to NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, where she is listed in stable condition, having sustained minor injuries.

Following an investigation performed by the NYPD Highway District’s Collision Investigation Squad, the vehicle operator was identified as a 43-year-old female, who remained at the scene.

It was determined that while traveling westbound on Grand Avenue, she crossed over the double yellow line into the eastbound travel lane — striking Hallenbeck and his parked and unoccupied tractor trailer.

No arrests were made and the investigation remains ongoing.

Later in the day at around 10:40 a.m., about a mile down the road at the intersection of Grand and Borden Avenues, a truck driver operating a 2023 Freightliner Truck crashed into the cement pillar in front of Maspeth Federal Savings Bank. The collision also left the shelter for the Q58 and 59 buses shattered and destroyed.

Photo by Robert Baranja

Police say the driver, 50-year-old Stephen Roy Bennington of Croydon, P.A. experienced a medical episode behind the wheel.

He was taken to NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, where he was pronounced deceased.

Robert Baranja, who works in Maspeth nearby, said he saw the crashed CVS Health truck when he stepped outside of work.

He was pleased to see the site cleaned up quickly and the FDNY’s timely response.

“It’s unfortunate what happened, but the fire department is right there,” he said. “The bridge and the LIE are right there too, so as far as the location where it was, it could have been a lot worse.”

According to the DOT, Maspeth is ranked No. 4 for highest freight activity out of the city’s 21 established Industrial Business Zones.

The Maspeth Industrial Business Zone is home to more than 850 industrial businesses.

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