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Maybe They Should Bid Out the Contract

| August 18, 2011

It had something to do with untimely acceleration.

Palm Coast isn’t the only town that had a challenging time with its sanitation wheels this week. Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. a 10-year veteran of New York’s sanitation department, 56-year-old Robert Legall, was at the wheel of a 15-ton salt-spreading truck, driving inside a depot in Woodside, Queens, when, for a reason yet unknown, he suddenly accelerated and rammed the $200,000 truck through the depot’s third-floor windows and wall.

He then dangled there for half an hour before being rescued. Somehow the truck, two-thirds of it outside, hung on, though the debris it sent crashing down crushed a few cars below. No one was injured. Legall was treated for minor injuries and released the same day. He’d been driving the truck into a maintenance bay for routine work before the winter. The truck is one of two used to spread salt on an access road to Rikers Island, New York City’s sprawling penal colony.

Editor’s Blog

New York City runs its own sanitation department, although who knows: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been under so much pressure to cut costs that he could piggy-back on Palm Coast’s coming RFP from garbage haulers. Waste Pro, Republic Services and Waste Management could divvy up New York City’s five boroughs between them–assuming that hell has frozen over and Rikers Island has turned into an ashram: the city’s notoriously tribal sanitation union isn’t about to yield its turf.

Wednesday’s accident inevitably triggered memories of Magritte and life imitating art, or vice versa. Maybe Legall is going through his surrealist phase as a truck driver.

Here it is, Magritte’s famous La Durée poignardée (1939), which has loosely been translated as Time Transfixed (the more literal translation would have something to do with time being stabbed, or time in cardiac arrest: Legall would know).

–Pierre Tristam

magritte la duree poignardee time transfixed

Click on the painting for larger view.

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2 Responses for “Maybe They Should Bid Out the Contract”

  1. Smart Lady says:

    Pretty crazy!!

  2. PJ says:


    please see if JJ at Hollingworth can find a similar piece of fine art work but in the form of a garbage truck ,fitting for the current times here in PC.

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