Truck driver on drugs hit South Brunswick house at 86 mph, cops say
SOUTH BRUNSWICK — The driver of a dump truck that crashed through the front of a home in August was under the influence of cocaine and fentanyl and had not slept for 32 hours, according to an investigation by South Brunswick police.
Police Chief Raymond Hayducka said the driver, Donald Epps, 55, of Morrisville, Pennsylvania, hit the house at 86 mph.
The tandem Mack dump truck slammed into the house on New Road at Shelly Road around 4:20 a.m. on Aug. 14 as a couple and their 18-year-old son slept inside the single-level home. The homeowners told News 12 New Jersey that their two cats also escaped injury.
It took first responders 40 minutes to free Epps from the cab of the truck whose engine compartment was lifted off the front tires.
“To be under the influence of drugs while driving an 86-ton dump truck is reckless and endangers everyone. He destroyed a home where a family was sleeping, and but for an act of God this could have been a tragedy,” Hayducka said Tuesday.
Epps was charged with DWI, endangering another person and 10 other offenses:
- Driving while impaired on a commercial driver’s license
- DWI within 1000 feet of a school
- Use of a commercial motor vehicle during the commission of a crime
- Reckless driving
- Having defective brakes
- Failure to keep right
- Improper driving on sidewalk
- Driving an overweight vehicle on a restricted roadway
The driver has been recovering at home and has a first court appearance scheduled for Oct. 3, police said.
Epps was driving for Burnett Trucking, of Princeton. The company did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment Tuesday.
On Monday, in a separate accident involving a dump truck, a woman survived after a dump truck slammed into her SUV in Wall. Police said the driver ignored a red light.
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