‘Ma’am, I Have It On Camera’: South Philadelphia Woman Claims City Trash Truck Hit Her Minivan And Drove Away

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A mother of twin toddlers says a city garbage truck damaged her minivan while it was parked in South Philadelphia. The problem is, the city never notified her but she has surveillance video to prove it.

Rita Declerico lives in South Philadelphia with her 2-year-old twin daughters. She was planning to take them to the babysitter Tuesday afternoon when she noticed extensive damage to her minivan.

“It has really been a disaster,” Declerico said. “It really has.”

The vehicle, which appeared to have been legally parked on Daly Street near 18th Street, had its front bumper hanging off and there was obvious damage to the minivan’s side and mirror.

(Credit: CBS3)

After doing some investigating, Declerico realized her neighbor’s camera captured the moment Tuesday morning when her minivan was hit.

It was a garbage truck belonging to the city of Philadelphia.

“I thought that it was very rude that they couldn’t tell somebody or acknowledge it. They could have put a note on my car,” Declerico said. “They could’ve put the claims in themselves.”

The total cost in damage is more than $3,000 with a $1,000 deductible through her insurance company.

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Declerico, who works as a waitress, says a deposit for a car rental would cost her $600, something she doesn’t have.

“It’s so hard to get around without cars,” Declerico said. “I can’t put them in Uber. I can’t bring their double stroller onto the SEPTA buses, so I’m stuck. I lost out on work on Tuesday because I had to wait for police. It was a big day for me and I’ve been stuck two days in a row.”

She wants the city to pay for the vehicle’s damages.

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She was able to get a sanitation employee from the Philadelphia Streets Department on the phone.

“She said, ‘That don’t sound like the trash company, they would have acknowledged it already.’ I said, ‘Ma’am, I have it on camera,’” Declerico said. “And she said we’ll send you the claim form and just fill it out and we’ll start from there.”

In a statement, the Philadelphia Streets Department apologized.

“The video and the conduct of the employees are being investigated by the Sanitation Division. Swift and appropriate disciplinary actions will be taken against all employees involved,” the statement said.

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