Questions raised about safety of overturned Detry truck

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Firefighters work to stabilize the overturned Detry Plumbing truck in order to remove the victim trapped inside. (GFD photo)

A workplace incident has resulted in a man losing his life after he was ejected from a commercial truck that flipped over along Marbo Cave road in Mangilao.

21-year-old Glen Cruz was the passenger in the commercial vehicle owned by Detry Plumbing which overturned on Thursday. He was identified by a co-worker and friend who is traumatized by his death.

The co-worker said Cruz was like a brother, and they are all like family, sharing meals, and helping each other out on the job, 6 days a week.

The co-worker said Cruz was a humble person, someone you could go to for help and that he was a big guy with a heart of gold.

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“He gave me the last what’s up, the last smile…I joked with him and scared him…I didn’t think that was the last time I would see him,” shared the co-worker.

When the Detry employees learned of the incident, they called to check on each other, the only two that did not answer were Cruz and the driver identified as Allan.

After leaving the company for about two months, Cruz returned to work at Detry about a month ago.

The co-worker, who wishes to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation, told PNC that the crash could have been avoided and Cruz’s death prevented.

According to the employee, the wastewater pump truck had multiple mechanical issues that were brought to the attention of Detry management but were never addressed properly.

“It’s been more than a year that the truck is just shot, this was supposed to be prevented if they took the proper measures but it didn’t happen,” the employee said. “It was always just little fixes here and there, they knew the brakes were bad, they knew the doors couldn’t even close. Right when you close the door, it’s supposed to lock…it didn’t lock that’s how he got ejected.”

The co-worker further stated that the door was secured with rope and bungee cord, the seat belts didn’t work and the transmission was shot, adding that Allan knew his stuff and was a good driver but, the truck wasn’t road-safe.

PNC reached out to Detry Plumbing Manager William Detry about the vehicle and the claims made by the Detry employee that management knew. Detry responded: “Not to my knowledge, I have not been in the vehicle personally myself but there’s an investigation going on currently.”

Leaving it at that, Detry did confirm that the vehicle was experiencing problems prior to the incident.

“We do have a mechanic on-site and yes it did come back earlier in the day. And I don’t know what was addressed, honestly, I don’t know what was addressed but it did go back out. I want to say it may have had some issue with the radiator, but I don’t have details for you.”

The wastewater pump truck has been recovered and is being stored at the Detry yard in case GPD needs to take a look at it again.

Police spokesman Sgt. Paul Tapao, in a release, stated that the operator lost control of the truck, causing the vehicle to overturn, and pinning the passenger under the truck.

Cruz’s co-worker said: “Going down there to Marbo Cave where the portable toilet was at, that was actually his position at work, the portable helper, just going to pump the toilet for forty bucks for extra cleaning and it cost him his life and they were aware of that truck….there was no speeding, no alcohol, or drugs.It wasn’t Allan or Glen’s fault.”

While the investigation into the crash is ongoing, Detry shares: “Our heartfelt condolences for the loss. We feel the loss as well. Glen was a good guy, a good young man. Just very unfortunate that this happened and our prayers go out to his family. It’s not an easy time for sure.”

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.