Penticton, B.C. man crushed inside recycling truck in serious condition
A Penticton, B.C. man remains in serious condition after he was crushed inside of a recycling truck Tuesday morning.
The victim may have been sleeping inside an unlocked dumpster in downtown Penticton when it was picked up and emptied into the back of a truck and mechanically compacted, inadvertently crushing the man.
A nearby construction worker Gary Stocker witnessed the aftermath of the incident.
“Around 10 to 7:00 yesterday morning as I was approaching the job site there was a garbage truck basically about 45 degrees across the intersection,” said Stocker.
“I noticed there was fire, police, and ambulance and at the time it was two firemen with ladders basically inside the dumpster. By the time I parked they pulled a body out of the dumpster. And you could hear that he wasn’t in great shape, that’s for sure.”
The driver called 911 after he was alerted that someone was yelling inside the back of his truck. It is unclear for how long the man was trapped.
Global News spoke with Progress Waste Solutions, but they declined to comment as this is now a police investigation.
“I’m sure that the driver himself must be in deep shock. That would be extremely upsetting. Hopefully, he has people surrounding him that will be able to help him out as well,” said Stocker.
The incident highlights a larger crisis that is ongoing within the community.
“There is obviously a lot of homeless people around in this area. There is accommodation but obviously not all want to go in that accommodation and maybe there’s not enough room for all of them,” said Stocker.
“We were all shocked, we all turned up to work and that started our day off and we were obviously extremely for the poor chap. This shouldn’t happen to anybody.”
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 experiencing homelessness have all kinds of things that they’re at risk of in the community. This is a horrible tragedy; this was someone’s brother or son,” said 100 More Homes Penticton Collaborative Co-Chair Linda Sankey.
“We need a range of housing options and a range of service providers who can action those services that they need.”
The 100 More Homes Collaborative is a group of organizations that are serving people who are experiencing homelessness in Penticton.
“Regardless of what was happening in their life, we wouldn’t want this for anyone. That’s why our 100 More Homes Committee is working on finding solutions, so we don’t have people in our community that is experiencing those problems anymore,” said Sankey.
RCMP say they are investigating the events leading up to the incident.
“The Penticton RCMP are continuing to investigate this tragic event and anyone with information is encouraged to call the detachment at 250-492-4300,” said Staff Sgt. Bob Vatamaniuck in the press release.
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