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Tow Truck Crashes Through Two Businesses on Main Street

Machado's Tailors and Financial Services LLC at Tory Corner were significantly damaged in the accident. Two reported injuries.

An out of control tow truck careened down Eagle Rock Avenue and plowed through the outer wall of a store and then through an adjacent store at the intersection of Main and Washington streets at around 2 p.m. Wednesday.  

Tory Corner was closed and cordoned off with yellow police tape after a tow truck drove through the outside wall of Machado’s Tailors, and then continued to drive through the business into Financial Services LLC right next door.

Two people were treated for minor injuries, according to the West Orange Police Department. The tow truck driver and someone from inside one of the businesses were taken to Saint Barnabas Medical Center to be treated for their injuries. 

Sean Sims, who owns Friendware Computers, at 296 Main St., across the street from the accident, said he was inside his store when the accident occurred.

“It sounded like a bomb,” said Sims. “We heard a loud crash. ... It sounded like [the tow truck] was trying to hit the breaks.”

Silverio and Julia Machado, owners of Machado’s Tailors for 13 years, were inside their store when the truck crashed through it. The two, both of whom did not appear injured but visibly shaken, wiped off debris and dust from their clothing as they looked at the damaged store front. 

“Everything came fast,” said Silverio Machado. 

There were three fire engines and several police cars around the area, in addition to a helicopter. The street was littered with debris and glass. Residents and business owners flocked to the scene and took pictures with their phones. 

During the cleanup, the crowd began to cheer as police pulled out a pet canary from Machado’s Tailors. The bird was still in its cage and unharmed. 

The tow truck "apparently lost its breaks" as it drove down Eagle Rock Avenue, according to a West Orange Police Department spokesperson.

As the tow truck barreled down the long hill, it tore off one of the side-mirrors of a United States Postal Service truck. The tow truck then hit two parked vehicles before it drove thorough the two businesses. 

A mini-van, which was involved in the accident, sustained significant front- and rear-end damage and was seen on Main Street in front of the two businesses. 

Police evacuated the building over concerns of its structure integrity. 

This story is breaking. More information will be posted when it becomes available. 

Karen LaBrunda Boettinger September 26, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Does anyone know who the driver of the tow truck was? My husband has a lot of friends who drive a flat bed in the area.
badbul September 26, 2012 at 09:18 PM
The truck belongs to R&R out of South Orange. The driver claims he lost his brakes by Pals Cabin on Eagle Rock and Prospect.
badbul September 26, 2012 at 09:24 PM
If you look at the other prctures, you will see the front end of the truck is in the store next to the first store that it entered.
Clare Silvestri Krakoviak September 26, 2012 at 09:55 PM
If that's the case, it's amazing the driver was able to negotiate the S-curves and get through the new Eagle Rock/Main St. intersection and down to Tory Corner. Thank goodness everyone appears to be all right.
badbul September 26, 2012 at 10:30 PM
I'm a little skeptical and only going by what will be in the report, if I had to take a guess what happened, I would say that anyone that drove like a maniac that drove threw a building would state that they lost there brakes. An inspection from DOT will tell the truth.
Mike D'Onofrio (Editor) September 26, 2012 at 11:58 PM
@Pamela -- Thanks for the additional photos! -- MCD
Pamela September 27, 2012 at 12:36 AM
@Mike -- You're welcome!
Annalise Silivanch September 27, 2012 at 01:21 AM
The tailor is a valued addition to Tory Corner businesses and does lovely work! Please support his business as he attempts to rebuild.
Irishguy719 September 27, 2012 at 02:57 AM
Saw that tow truck at the corner of Eagle Rock and Main out of control and hitting the mail truck. The driver should be commend for doing everything possible for not hurting or killing any body. Another reason that people should not comment (Englert) unless you know all the facts!!!!
Itsmedoe September 27, 2012 at 02:58 AM
The owners were actually outside of the store not inside hich is why they weren't hurt.
Gary Englert September 27, 2012 at 03:26 AM
Irishguy719 It obviously escaped your notice that my comment dealt purely with what was depicted in the picture; a tow truck having breached a storefront and coming to rest completely inside the building. I've done enough accident investigations in my career and know enough about physics to reasonably surmise the truck impacted at a high rate of speed. I didn't speculate about a thing or afix any blame, did I?
Tom G. September 27, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Badbul wrote: "The driver claims he lost his brakes by Pals Cabin on Eagle Rock and Prospect" If that's indeed what he said, it doesn't make sense. To get from Pals Cabin to downtown WO, you need to drive uphill on Eagle Rock Ave. to the crest of the hill by Highlawn Pavilion. So if the guy was at Pals, he would have needed to accelerate to get up the hill, and then rolled all the way downtown. This was a really dumb thing to do unless he was truly not familiar with the area and didn't realize there was a big hill further up on Eagle Rock.
Michelle Cadeau September 27, 2012 at 12:34 PM
My first reaction was that the driver must have gotten a heart attack or something and the truck was 'driving itself'. There is no way you can pick up hat speed from the light to the store. I am so happy it was a no-school day and tht everyone is ok.
Dendan September 27, 2012 at 12:48 PM
I agree Annalise. I hope that they can rebuild quickly but if they need to temporarily relocate, I would hope that their customers would remain loyal and supportive. Even if that means traveling to a new location.
John Dsurney September 27, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Tom G. You are correct is he lost his brakes at Prospect & Eagle Rock why did he continue up the grade to the downhill side. I belive he came down the hill in a higher gear and his brakes could not hold. John D
marie September 27, 2012 at 03:26 PM
That is not a policeman carrying out a bird cage. It is Fire Captain Robert Dsurney.
marie September 27, 2012 at 04:08 PM
That is not a policeman carrying out the birdcage, it is Fire Captain Robert Dsurney.
Giovanni September 27, 2012 at 04:35 PM
ok, so just before i say anything, I DO NOT know all the facts and cant wait to hear the full story, something does not sound right and is missing, i am not a physicist but just speaking off of common send and my knowledge of motor vehicles. was the driver in the right state of mind? lets say he lost his brakes by pals cabin you mean to tell me your emergency brakes didnt work also? you couldnt down shift and bring the truck to a stop? he really managed to go down all the curves on eagle rock with out brakes and continue going down main st while risking the lives of pedastrians even though there was know school that day? seems like a smart guy under pressure huh? if was aware of that i had no ability whats so ever i would have rammed myself into a line of trees or some other obstacle on the way down instead of ramming into an establishment at one of the busiest intesections in west orange at a high rate of speed. i mean maybe he did do his best to avoid the forementioned but still, glad nobody was seriously injured
Concerned Citzen September 27, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Tom G he was going the opposite way of what your commenting. He was coming DOWN Eagle Rock from Pal's cabin that's all downhill.
Tom G. September 27, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Concerned Citizen - if you're traveling east on Eagle Rock Ave., when you get to Pals Cabin it's actually *uphill* from Pals Cabin, past the bowling alley, past Eagle Rock Diner, up to Highlawn Pavilion. (Believe me, I drive this every day). After Highlawn Pavilion it's all downhill. So my point is, how did he get from Pals Cabin *up* to Highlawn Pavilion without accelerating? That part doesn't add up.
EKJ September 27, 2012 at 06:51 PM
WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOU HAD CLOTHES IN THERE?
John Dsurney September 27, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Concerned Citizen, That area of Eagle Rock Ave from Pals Cabin is an uphill grade. When you get to the entrance o the Eagle Rock Reservation is where the road starts a steep hill.
DP September 27, 2012 at 07:29 PM
I'm glad no one was seriously hurt.
Loren Svetvilas September 27, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Where are the inappropriate comments in Englert's original post? Seem pretty innocuous to me (!)
tina September 28, 2012 at 04:12 PM
He (tow truck driver) is now back home after being admitted in the hospital for his injuries. We do not live in the area and he did everything possible to avoid causing harm to anyone it could not be avoided luckily he was able to flag an officer and that officer followed him. I'm just glad he is alive and he is back home bc it could have been much worse. We are just happy no one else was injured!
Dina September 28, 2012 at 06:03 PM
I don't get the uphill part either. I have to accelerate to get past the Eagle Rock diner. I also get stuck behind slow moving vehicles making my way to Main St. I'm amazed the driver didn't plow into a single car the entire length of ER Ave. I guess the cars got out of the way for him?
badbul September 28, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Tina, please let us know what happen with the brakes - was it driver error or a mechanical issue?
ERNEST H PRICE,SR. October 01, 2012 at 04:20 PM
No driving idiot should have put in the woods coming down the hill if he had air brakes system would have locked up at 45lbs. who the hell is he kidding!!
JA October 18, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Yes, I had 15 articles of clothing in the store and some of it was very, very expensive. I am very happy that no one was seriously injured, especially the Machados. They are very lovely couple. But there is no forwarding telephone# on the building so that we may contact them to se what clothing survived. Does anyone have a forwarding telephone# for them? If we can't reclaim our clothing, we will need to file a claim with the truck's insurance company.
JA October 18, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Yes, I had 15 articles of clothing in the store and some of it was very, very expensive. I am very happy that no one was seriously injured, especially the Machados. They are very lovely couple. But there is no forwarding telephone# on the building so that we may contact them to see what clothing survived. Does anyone have a forwarding telephone# for them? If we can't reclaim our clothing, we will need to file a claim with the truck's insurance company.

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