A government truck gave a little girl and her family a big scare when it drove along the beach just a few feet from the toddler. It was all caught on camera and NBC10 was first to show you that exclusive video. Now we know who was behind the wheel of that truck.
"If she was any closer, she could have been killed," Barbara Applebaum, the girl's grandmother, told NBC10.
Applebaum says it was a startling scene on the sand, when the public works truck drove by two-year-old Samantha on Saturday morning.
“This is an accident waiting to happen. He was very, very close to her. And it really scared all of us.”
On the video, Samantha appears to be looking down the beach to see if any more vehicles are coming. Her father reassures her, “It’s gone now Sam, it’s just a car.
Samantha's father captured the incident on video around 8:30 a.m. They were on Ventnor's Wissahickon Avenue beach. The family says the pickup, which NBC10's Ted Greenberg learned is from neighboring Margate, came about 10 feet from the North Carolina toddler, who was visiting relatives at the Jersey shore.
“She just ran away and we couldn’t believe how fast the truck was going,” her grandmother says.
After the family sent us the video, we showed it to Ventnor police.
“That was scary. Yeah, that’s a problem. . .It’s disturbing, obviously.”
Margate's Public Works Commissioner gave us the identity of the driver, who is in his twenties.
The Margate Public Works Director, Frank Ricciotti, told us the driver faces "severe disciplinary action." Ricciotti said the driver left his post and that even though he explained why, the driver's explanation will be kept confidential because it's "a personnel matter."
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We are not publishing the driver's name at this point in time because no disciplinary has been taken.
Ricciotti tells us it was wrong for the driver to leave his post and that his case is being reviewed by city officials.