WOODSIDE, Queens (WABC) — It was an insurance nightmare after a rental truck – normally used for moving – destroyed more than three dozen cars in Queens.
Wrecked SUVs needed hundreds of thousands of repairs and owners needed rentals, but when their resolve 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 sped down two blocks in Woodside and swept away 40 cars.
One belonged to Nazeera Khan.
“The damage came entirely from the rear bumper, it damaged the lights, both doors,” Khan said.
His Honda was the first car hit. The staggering rental truck took the front off and she said she couldn’t drive the car anymore because of the damage.
His neighbor, Tom Wojtaszczyk, said his car was also a total loss. His SUV was smashed and the fairing truck rammed his other car, a Toyota.
These were investments that Wojtaszczyk hoped to repair in his store to return and sell. Now he’s in the $30,000 hole.
“That’s a lot of money to shell out,” Wojtaszczyk said.
In mid-June, Eyewitness News covered the rental wreck and Wojtaszczyk and Khan were both interviewed.
The driver was arrested after apparently 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 surveyor has come out and no rentals have been issued.
For Khan, a single mother of two, no Honda meant hardship.
“I took taxis, took a taxi, asked friends to drop me off, do what I had to do,” she said. “It’s getting expensive.”
“They were giving us the treatment of yes – ‘yes, we’ll deal with it, yes we will,’ and nothing was done,” Wojtaszczyk said.
So 7 On Your Side contacted the insurance company and within hours the adjuster was on the street assessing the damage to the cars.
The insurance company apologized and said it was accelerating claims for all car owners.
In one day, Khan secured a much-needed rental and settlement worth over $15,000 for his Honda.
“I want to thank you guys so much,” she said.
And Wojtaszczyk got almost $30,000 for his two cars.
“If it wasn’t for you, I never would have made it,” Wojtaszczyk said.
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