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FedEx truck kills pedestrian in Long Beach

A FedEx FedEx truck struck and killed a

A FedEx FedEx truck struck and killed a pedestrian in Long Beach, police said. (July 28, 2009) Credit: Erik Badia

An out-of-control FedEx truck hit and killed a pedestrian and then slammed into a line of parked cars on a busy Long Beach street yesterday morning, also injuring a woman in one of the cars, police and witnesses said.

Lt. Bruce Meyer of the Long Beach Police Department said the truck was traveling west on East Park Avenue, possibly at a high rate of speed, when it hit and killed a man in his early 50s.

Police have not released the identity of the man, pending notification of next of kin.

The truck then rammed the Toyota Solara convertible Bonni Goetz was sitting in with such force that it pushed it into two other vehicles parked in front of her.

Goetz was taken to South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside with minor injuries, and treated and released around noon.

The identity and condition of the FedEx driver was not immediately released.

Meyer said that the cause of the accident is still under investigation, but the driver has not been charged and police believe drugs and alcohol were not involved.

"At this point, it just appears to be a tragic accident," he said.

Eddie Spada, 27, a worker at Associated Marketplace of Long Beach, said the man who was hit had just finished shopping at the supermarket and may have been getting in his car.

Around 8:30 a.m., Spada said he heard a vehicle skid and went outside to see what happened. He came out to find a man lying near the curb and cars strewn about the street and sidewalk farther up the road.

Spada said he regularly sees vehicles speeding on East Park Avenue. "Sometimes I have to help customers across the street because [people] drive too fast," he said.

Goetz, who owns the Lido Kosher Deli with her husband Wally, was waiting in her car outside the deli for her son, Russell, 14, to bring lunch out to her, said her husband.

He said Russell saw "this FedEx truck, out of control, hit a gentleman, then rammed into [her] car."

He added that her car was dragged about 30 yards.

Goetz believed his wife was physically OK, but said she was very shaken.

"She was traumatized," he said from behind the counter of the deli.

David Westrick, a spokesman for FedEx Ground, said the event was a tragic accident and stressed that safety is the company's No. 1 priority.

He said the Memphis, Tenn.-based company was fully cooperating with authorities and, pending the results of the investigation, the driver may be fired.

With Carl MacGowan