Safe driving concerns rise after deadly pizza delivery wreck

Dec. 12, 2002

NORFOLK, Va. -- An official at 34-store Chanello's Pizza said the chain is re-emphasizing driver safety in the wake of a Nov. 29 delivery accident that killed two 5-year-old girls.

According to a report in the Virginia Pilot, Rebecca Burlingame and Julia Haynes were killed when the van in which they were riding hit a 1996 Ford Explorer driven by Chanello's delivery driver Jon B. Schneider. Three others in the van suffered minor injuries.

Schneider, 31, was charged with reckless driving and running a red light, which are misdemeanors. Local officials considered stronger charges, but found no criminal intent or neglect on the part of Schneider.

Pizza industry officials told the Pilot their companies are vigilant about stressing road safety policies. Pizza Hut prohibits employees from entering driveways to avoid collisions while pulling out, and Domino's Pizza makes applicants take a written driving test and watch safety videos.

According to Domino's spokesperson Holly Ryan, the company limits delivery area sizes to reduce the need to rush deliveries, and Pizza Hut spokesperson Patty Sullivan said drivers often are given assigned routes that direct them around traffic snarls.

Domino's Pizza dropped its 30-minute delivery guarantee in 1993 after a St. Louis jury awarded $79 million to a woman injured four years earlier in a collision with a delivery driver who ran a red light.

Topics: Crime

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