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UPS manager driving truck killed in crash

August 11, 1997

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ A United Parcel Service manager driving a truck because of the nationwide Teamsters strike was killed Monday when his tractor-trailer plunged off a highway ramp.

The truck was the last of several traveling from a railyard to a UPS distribution center in Nashville when it went over a 2 1/2-foot wall on the entrance ramp and fell onto Interstate 65.

The cab landed on its roof. Packages and broken glass were scattered on the ramp, and other parcels and debris were spread across the highway. Northbound traffic on the highway was shut down for hours.

The driver, Floyd Parta, 48, of Mount Juliet, Tenn., had been behind the wheel for UPS since the Teamsters went on strike last week.

``We have approximately 50,000 managers who are working in our centers and in our hubs. Not all are driving trucks. Some are sorting and loading and doing various other things to keep things running,″ said Jennifer Jiles, a UPS spokeswoman based in Atlanta.

The cause of the accident was under investigation.

``We’re looking into all contingencies,″ Phil Matisak, a company spokesman in Nashville, said when asked if the load could have shifted, causing the cab and trailer to flip over the wall.

Matisak defended the company’s decision to send managers on the road during the strike.

``He was qualified to operate that type of equipment. He had a commercial driver’s license and was DOT (Department of Transportation) certified, as all our drivers are,″ Matisak said.

Teamsters Local 480 President Ronnie Martin criticized the company for using inexperienced drivers.

``People are out there filling jobs they’re not qualified to do. It’s a time bomb waiting to happen,″ Martin said.

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