Dunk truck: Dump truck careens into VH Harbor


A runaway dump truck barreled down Beach Street and Beach Street Extension Monday morning, sideswiping several cars, before crashing into Vineyard Haven Harbor. The operator told The Times he lost his brakes, and tried the emergency brakes to no avail. He estimated his truck hit the water at 30 mph. He said he was able to execute a semi-hairpin turn around outfall pipes and beach the truck. He was stunned the truck, which had a full load of what appears to be loam, didn’t keel over during the turn. A powerboat was close by at the Black Dog dock, and he said he was fortunate he didn’t slam into it. The operator appeared uninjured. 

The dump truck bore the logo of Brewer Landscapes. A ramp truck driver dispatched to collect the dump truck said his truck would be unable to extract the dump truck from the sand, and said a heavy wrecker would be required. Tisbury Police were on the scene running through options to haul the truck off the beach. 

The Times was initially alerted to the incident by Max Richter, an Island visitor who had just recently disembarked the American Cruise Lines ship docked adjacent to the beach. Richter said he had just exited the ship and was on a walk down by the waterfront when he heard the loud noise of a truck behind him. “I looked around and then back behind me, and saw this thing coming fast at me,” Richter said. “I stepped out of the way as [the truck] just immediately came by, splashed into the water, and he was able to turn the truck around and get it back on the sand. It was fully loaded.” Richter was uninjured. 

Lucas Thors contributed to this report.



    • It would be very difficult, may not have been able to get it into first then you’re in neutral with zero engine braking. He didn’t have much time. He did a hell of a good job not killing anyone.

  1. I had been in this situation back in the 80’s.
    Unfortunately I didn’t have a happy ending.
    I know all to well how you were feeling and I think you did a great job controlling this truck in the moment that only took seconds but felt like minutes. Nice job.
    Maybe you had a super power from above as a copilot.

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