CHICAGO (CBS) – CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini tracks drivers violating road safety and talks to a man severely injured and suing the company.
CBS 2 Investigators catch Amazon delivery drivers creating dangers on the road. With one pedestrian dead and another who says he suffered severe injuries, CBS 2’s Dave Savini looks into the drivers working at a local Amazon warehouse.
Outside the warehouse in Little Village, the CBS 2 Investigators watch Amazon delivery drivers hit the road and rack up traffic offenses too – blowing red lights and stop signs, turning illegally on red, parking in fire lanes and cutting in and out of traffic without using turn signals.
CBS 2 also found Amazon drivers in vans and personal cars loaded with packages – stacked so high their mirrors were obstructed. One after another, they roll out of the warehouse and zipped down streets, including in Raul and Steven Salinas’ neighborhood.
“Well I heard a loud yell,” said Steven Salinas said about the night his father was hit by a van they believe was driven by an Amazon delivery driver.
Chicago Police surveillance video shows Raul Salinas and his dog crossing the street. The van failed to stop for a stop sign, hits Salinas then leaves the scene – a hit and run.
“He leave (sic) me there,” said 75-year-old Raul Salinas.
“Basically mowed him down. And left him for dead,” said Steven Salinas. “It still disgusts me that the person is still out there.”
The video shows the driver maneuvering around Salinas as he lays injured on the ground. The van is then seen slowing for a speed bump, and again going through a stop sign without first stopping.
“I got a broken shoulder,” said Raul Salinas. “I got a broken ribs. I got a pelvis broken – all my right leg.”
This happened in December 2017, but the driver is still on the loose. Salinas is suing Amazon, believing this van was delivering packages out of the nearby distribution warehouse. The warehouse is close to the scene of another Amazon driver crash.
Telesfora Escamilla was killed as she crossed the street in December 2016. Amazon delivery driver Valdimar Gray was charged with vehicular homicide.
“She wasn’t supposed to die like this,” said Escamilla’s daughter. “I’m going to miss you mommy.”
Both crashes happened less than two miles from the Amazon distribution warehouse at 2801 S. Western Avenue.
Salinas hired Attorney John Marrese.
“We would expect any company dispatching drivers to the road to make sure that those drivers are heeding stops signs, traffic signals as well as pedestrians on the road,” said Marrese.
But at the intersection where Salinas was hit, the 2 Investigators were there less than five minutes, when an Amazon driver went through the same stop sign without stopping.
Raul Salinas says he is lucky he was not killed.
Amazon says these drivers are not their employees, and the company hires independent contractors to handle most deliveries.
They also have a program called Amazon Flex – People can sign up to deliver Amazon packages in their personal vehicles.
They say it’s the contractors job to load the vehicles.
In statement, Amazon says they have high standards for its delivery partners and investigates claims of inappropriate driver behavior. They would not comment on the Salinas or Escamilla cases.
“Amazon logistics is made up of small and medium sized businesses who employ hundreds of local drivers to deliver packages to Amazon customers. We have high standards for our delivery service partners and investigate claims made about inappropriate driver behavior and take the appropriate actions, which may include no longer delivering for Amazon. We are proud of the safe driving record of the companies and individuals delivering for Amazon, and the positive delivery experience they are providing to our customers. We are constantly working to make sure our safety standards and practices are best in class,” said an Amazon spokesperson.