Everyone in Woburn, Mass., is amazed that no one was injured in a freak runaway dump truck incident that occurred there last week.

A dump truck with blacktop in the bed had parked at the top of a busy street last Tuesday. The driver, 38-year-old Richard Nichols from Rockland, Mass., says he applied the parking brake before he got out of the truck. However, the police have charged him with seven safety code violations, including improper use of vehicle equipment, because they charge that he did not set the truck’s brakes properly.

The truck careened down the street, smashing into cars, a mail van and power poles, tearing electrical lines from homes and downing power lines all along the street. The truck stopped mere feet from the busiest intersection in town. The power to 40 homes was knocked out due to the rampage, but amazingly, though it all, no one was injured. One witness said that a man in a wheelchair was only a few feet away from one of the power poles that was knocked down, and just missed getting run over.

During an investigation of the accident, it was revealed that Nichols had numerous prior violations on his record, including illegal operation, speeding, unregistered improper equipment and failing to use safety. The police say the accident was the result of human error, and they are continuing to investigate whether Nichols should face more charges.

The question on many people’s minds after hearing of the driver’s record was “Why was this guy allowed to drive a truck?” At what point, and after how many serious violations, do you pull a trucker’s license?

While the people of Woburn are angry at the damage done by someone’s carelessness, they are also very thankful that this accident, however frightening, was not deadly.