A PentictonBC man remains in serious condition after being crushed in a recycling truck on Tuesday morning.
The victim may have been sleeping in an unlocked dumpster in downtown Penticton when it was picked up and emptied into the back of a truck and mechanically compacted, accidentally crushing the man.
A nearby construction worker, Gary Stocker, witnessed the aftermath of the incident.
“Yesterday morning around 10 a.m. to 7 a.m. as I approached the site, a garbage truck was basically parked at about a 45-degree angle over the intersection,” Stocker said.
“I noticed there was fire, police and ambulance, and at the time it was two firefighters with ladders that were basically in the dumpster. When I parked, they pulled a body out of the dumpster. And you could hear he wasn’t in the best shape, that’s for sure.”
The driver called 911 after being warned that someone was yelling in the back of his truck. It is unclear how long the man was trapped.
Global News spoke to Progress Waste Solutions but they declined to comment as it is now a police investigation.
“I am sure that the driver himself must have been deeply shocked. That would be extremely annoying. Hopefully he has people around who can help him too,” said Stocker.
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The incident highlights a larger crisis that continues within the community.
“There are obviously a lot of homeless people in this area. There are shelters, but obviously not everyone wants to go into these shelters and maybe there isn’t enough space for everyone,” Stocker said.
“We were all shocked, we all showed up for work and that started our day off and we were obviously extreme for the poor guy. That shouldn’t happen to anyone.”
Advocates are doing what they can to support the community’s vulnerable population but say more needs to be done.
“I can certainly speak to the fact that people who experience homelessness have all kinds of things that they are exposed to in the community. This is a terrible tragedy; that was someone’s brother or son,” said Linda Sankey, co-chair of the 100 More Homes Penticton Collaborative.
“We need a range of housing options and a range of service providers who can provide the services they need.”
The 100 More Homes Collaborative is a group of organizations serving the homeless in Penticton.
“Regardless of what happened in her life, we wouldn’t wish this on anyone. So our 100 More Homes Committee is working to find solutions so we don’t have people in our community who have these issues,” Sankey said.
RCMP say they are investigating the events leading up to the incident.
“Penticton’s RCMP is continuing to investigate this tragic event and anyone with information is encouraged to call the department at 250-492-4300,” Staff Sgt. Bob Vatamaniuck said in the press release.
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https://globalnews.ca/news/8741543/penticton-b-c-man-crushed-recycling-truck-serious-condition/ Penticton, BC Man crushed in serious condition in recycling truck