Insurance nightmare after rental truck smashes 40 cars in Queens

Nina Pineda Image
Tuesday, September 20, 2022
Insurance nightmare after rental truck smashes 40 cars
It was an insurance nightmare after a rental truck smashed more than three dozen cars in Woodside, Queens -- until 7 On Your Side stepped in. Nina Pineda has the story.

WOODSIDE, Queens (WABC) -- It was an insurance nightmare after a rental truck - normally used for moving - smashed more than three dozen cars in Queens.

The smashed SUVs needed hundreds of thousands in repairs and owners needed rentals, but when their resolution hit a wall - it was up to Nina Pineda and 7 On Your Side to get them back on the road.

Residents said it sounded like a freight train coming down their street. An out-of-control 5-ton, 26-foot rental truck barreled down two blocks in Woodside and sideswiped 40 cars.

One belonged to Nazeera Khan.

"The damage is totally from the bumper in the back, he damaged the lights, the two doors," Khan said.

Her Honda was the first car hit. The reeling rental truck peeled back the front end and she said she can no longer drive the car because of the damage.

Her neighbor, Tom Wojtaszczyk, said his car was also a total loss. His SUV was smashed and the careening truck crashed into his other car, a Toyota.

They were investments Wojtaszczyk was hoping to fix in his shop to flip and sell. Now he's in the hole $30,000.

"It's a lot of money to be out of pocket," Wojtaszczyk said.

In mid-June, Eyewitness News covered the rental wreckage and Wojtaszczyk and Khan were both interviewed.

The driver was arrested after reportedly falling asleep and Eyewitness News reporter Mike Marza made a prophetic prediction on June 16.

"What an insurance headache this is going to be," he said at the time.

He was right. Nearly three weeks after the early morning demolition derby, no adjusters have been out, and no rentals issued.

For Khan, a a single mom of two, no Honda meant hardship.

"I've been taking cabs, taking a taxi, having friends drop me around, do what I have to do," she said. "It is getting expensive."

"They were giving us the yes treatment - 'yes, we'll take care of it, yes we'll get it done,' and nothing got done," Wojtaszczyk said.

So 7 On Your Side got in touch with the insurance company and within a few hours, the adjuster was on the street assessing the damage on the cars.

The insurance company apologized and said it was fast-tracking all car owners' claims.

Within a day, Khan got a much-needed rental and a settlement worth more than $15,000 for her Honda.

"I would like to thank you guys very much," she said.

And Wojtaszczyk got close to $30,000 for his two cars.

"If it wasn't for you, I would have never gotten nowhere," Wojtaszczyk said.

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