Latest Deadly Crash Caused by Truck Operator With a Slew of Charges on Record Dating Back 18 Years
For Immediate Release:
May 1, 2013
David Perle 202-483-7382
Goldsboro, N.C. – PETA has fired off a letter to Bob Ivey, general manager of Goldsboro, N.C.–based Goldsboro Milling Co., urging him immediately to prohibit using any drivers who have repeated driving-related offenses or are found to have been at fault in any crash. PETA’s letter follows the April 19 crash of a truck loaded with Goldsboro Milling pigs and operated by David Lambert that ran off U.S. 258 in Isle of Wight County, Va., killing 55 pigs and leaving as many as 129 more to suffer. Lambert has been charged with at least 15 traffic offenses in North Carolina since 1995, including reckless driving, speeding (five violations), and seeking to evade federal safety regulations. Lambert was charged in the April 19 crash and is due in a Wayne County, N.C., courtroom on May 3 to answer for his most recent charges in that state.
“David Lambert’s driving record reads like a rap sheet, but he was still handed the keys, allowing him to cause the painful and terrifying deaths of scores of animals—as well as endangering the lives of other motorists,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA hopes this incident serves as a wake-up call to Goldsboro Milling to hire and contract with only drivers with clean records.”
This isn’t the first highway crash involving Goldsboro Milling pig-transport trucks. Following Goldsboro Milling truck crashes in Suffolk, Va., in 2004 and again in 2008, PETA investigators documented that injured pigs were abused—including by being struck in the face and dragged by the ears—before being loaded onto replacement trucks and taken to slaughter.
In 2010, PETA sent a similar letter to Smithfield Foods, Inc., after one of its subsidiary’s drivers was involved in two deadly crashes within three months while transporting live animals.
For more information, please visit PETA’s blog.
PETA’s letter to Goldsboro Milling Co. follows.
May 1, 2013
Bob Ivey, General Manager
Goldsboro Milling Co.
Dear Mr. Ivey:
I am writing to share the disturbing driving record of David Earl Lambert—who, while hauling 184 pigs for Goldsboro Milling Co., crashed a tractor trailer in Isle of Wight County, Va., on April 19—and to ask you to take immediate corrective personnel measures to protect all whose safety wrecks such as this put at risk. Lambert, of Goldsboro, N.C., ran off the dry, defect-free surface of U.S. 258—in clear weather conditions—while headed toward Smithfield, Va., and overturned the vehicle. Several pigs were ejected, and 55 were killed on impact and in the hours that followed as a result of severe injuries and related trauma. The 129 survivors were sent to Smithfield Packing Co. Lambert was cited for failure to maintain his lane of travel.
Lambert’s driving record is remarkably bad: He has been charged with at least 15 traffic offenses in nine North Carolina counties since 1995, including reckless driving, speeding (five citations), using a radar detector, operating an uninsured vehicle, and seeking to evade federal motor carrier safety regulations. Lambert was ordered to pay at least $510 in fines and court costs after being found responsible for six offenses. On May 3, he is due in a Wayne County courtroom on his latest North Carolina charges (stemming from a March 26 incident) of operating a vehicle without a valid inspection and having an expired registration—for which he was also cited in Wayne County in October 2009.
I have witnessed the aftermath of multiple crashes such as these—including those involving Goldsboro Milling Co. in 2004 and 2008 in Suffolk, Va.—and seen the shredded remains of those who were killed on impact. I have seen debilitated and terrified survivors dragged by the ears and electro-shocked onto replacement trucks bound for the slaughterhouse, and I’ve watched the most critically injured animals finally be killed by having bolts driven into their brains—bolts that sometimes malfunction. But one need not have personally been present at a crash scene to grasp the urgency with which your company must act to prevent these deadly wrecks.
We urge Goldsboro Milling Co. to review all company and contract drivers’ records and fitness to haul live animals immediately and prohibit using any drivers who have repeated driving-related offenses or are found to have been at fault in any crash. Doing so would be in the best interests of the public, animals, and your company.
Dan Paden, Senior Research Associate
Cruelty Investigations Department