At about 6 a.m. Saturday morning, a city trash truck careened into the Santa Fe River, according to Santa Fe police.
Deputy Chief John Schaerfl said that as of Saturday afternoon, it was unclear if the accident was due to driver error or mechanical failure.
“A very preliminary inspection indicated there wasn’t anything obviously wrong with the brakes,” Schaerfl said. “But they plan on doing a more detailed inspection.”
The crash, which involved only the truck, occurred at southbound Gonzales Road and East Alameda Street, Schaerfl said. The truck was going too fast, and the driver failed to stop at the stop sign located at the intersection. He swerved to the right, managed to avoid hitting any of the cottonwood trees along the bank, and then hit the riverbed.
Schaerfl did say the truck was a full-size garbage truck, and that two city employees were in the vehicle. Both went to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center to be treated for minor injuries, although one of the workers might have a broken limb. The police have not released names at this time because the case is still under investigation.
The river was dry at the time, and the truck spilled very little trash. Schaerfl said it had picked up trash at some downtown restaurants, and that a small amount of fluid leaked, but not enough to cause ecological damage. A small amount of what was possibly engine oil also was found and cleaned up.
“It was very, very lucky,” he said.
Officers closed Alameda Street for about four and a half hours while two wreckers pulled the truck out of the river.