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Motorcycle / Truck Accident

One Trucker, 2 Awful Crashes

By: Rudy Larini

"The truck driver involved in the crash that killed four people last week on the New Jersey Turnpike in Bergen County had been involved in a serious crash on Route 78 in Union County almost exactly four years earlier.

In the August 2002 incident, Long Island resident Dimitrios Tseperkas was driving a tractor-trailer that struck a car on westbound Route 78 in Union Township. The car's driver, Claude Coleman, 33, of New Hope, Pa., was severely injured. Tseperkas was cited for careless driving, and according to court papers Coleman settled a lawsuit earlier this year for $850,000.

Nine days ago on the Turnpike, Tseperkas' tractor-trailer struck a car, which was propelled under another truck and crushed. Charles and Theresa Christmas and their 2-year-old daughter, Victoria, of Queens were killed, as was Norma Ryan, 37, of Voorhees. Four others were injured.

Samuel Davis, the lawyer representing the surviving daughter in the Christmas family, 4-year-old Theresa, said he finds the two accidents "eerily similar" and plans to use the earlier collision in litigation he intends to file against the trucker."

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