NYPD employee killed by tire on Gowanus Expressway

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An NYPD employee died in a freak accident along the Gowanus Expressway while heading to work Wednesday morning.

Police say the 64-year-old male victim was traveling east on the expressway around 6:30 a.m.

They say a westbound 2009 Mack garbage truck lost a rear passenger tire, which flew over the center median and shattered the windshield of the victim's 2003 Chevy Tracker. It hit the man in the head, and he was pronounced dead at NYU Langone Hospital Brooklyn.

Traffic backed up for hours.

Century Waste LLC, a New Jersey-based company, owns the truck. The driver and passenger in it stayed at the scene.

"Our hearts go out to the family of the victim," a spokesperson for Century Waste said in a statement. "This event was an unfortunate accident. We are fully cooperating with the investigation of this tragic event."

Sources tell News 12 that the victim lived on Staten Island and worked as a steamfitter at NYPD headquarters in Lower Manhattan. He has not yet been identified.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a unit of the U.S. Department of Transportation that regulates the trucking industry, Century Waste has had numerous violations regarding problems with tires not having proper tread or wheel axle parts missing or defective.

In the past two years, 65 percent of its vehicles have been taken out of service. The national average is 20 percent. Century Waste's vehicles have reportedly been involved in three crashes during that time period, but none were fatal until now.

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