When you pair up two guys named Leroy and JB, you're probably asking for an interesting afternoon of just "plain" fun. Inject a lavatory service truck and a WestJet Boeing 737 in the gate at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood airport on 29 October however, and you got.... ramp rash.
An ongoing investigation by the US National Transportation Safety Board sets the scene for what happened, with the excerpt below written by the mens' supervisor.
"[Leroy] positioned the [lav service truck] and waited for a guideman to finalize positioning. [JB] was his guideman. JB guided Leroy into position and gave him the stop signal. Leroy stopped the lav truck properly. Immediately, JB heard the engine rev up and and the vehicle move backward into the aircraft...."
The "thud and large jolt" that baggage handlers inside the aircraft felt next was the machine tearing a 9in x 21in gash in the rear-end of the Boeing.
Here's Leroy's account of the action from the NTSB report -
Some clarity was provided by the supervisor in his report:
"Leroy claims that his foot slipped off brake pedal and onto gas pedal. He claims that rubber pad on brake pedal came off causing him to lose grip on his foot. Rubber pad was observed on floor of lav truck. It is not known when the pad came off the pedal during this activity. Leroy did not have proper shoes with rubber soles which may have been a contributing factor to the slippage...."
After a review of the truck, the maintenance team determined that "no faults were found on the vehicle except the brake pad being off the brake pedal", says the supervisor adding, "Both Leroy and JB were sent to drug testing as a result of the accident."