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A Department of Transportation and Parking official yesterday said he is investigating Sunday's collision between an Escort Service van and a truck, adding that he has not yet determined who is to blame for the incident. Stephen Carey, the department's assistant director, said he does not know if the Escort driver was responsible for the accident, but said he has been "relieved of his duties" for the period of the investigation. The driver of the van, College senior Eric Kittell, declined to comment last night. According to one of the van's two passengers, the van was hit in the side by a truck when Kittell tried to turn right onto Market Street from the far left lane of traffic on 32nd Street. No one in the van or in the truck was injured. Passenger Amy Schiffman, a College sophomore, said Sunday she was angry about Escort Service's treatment of the incident. She said Escort officials were rude and hung up on her when she called to complain about the accident on Sunday night. Schiffman said Escort employees treated the accident as if it was "an everyday occurrence." Carey yesterday defended his employees, saying the people Schiffman talked to "were responsible for keeping Escort going" and did not have the time or the authority to answer the student's questions. "Any accident involving a University vehicle is important to the University, and is especially important to us," Carey said. "Our primary concern is to make sure nobody was injured. Our second concern is to keep Escort working efficiently." University Police said Sunday that there was minimal damage to the vehicles and that no tickets were issued. Carey, whose office has been directing Escort Service for five years, said vans have been involved in other "fender-benders" in the past. He said that only one driver has been fired for causing a collision, but that several drivers have lost their jobs due to inadequate driving skills. The assistant director also said all Escort Service drivers go through a training period consisting of driving sessions with a staff member and a driver safety program. But due to the recent increase of Escort drivers, Carey said, some have not yet attended the safety program. Carey said he does not know if Kittell has been trained.

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