A Rumpke driver was dressed in appropriate reflective safety gear and all truck safety lights were in operation at the time of an accident this morning, according to Rumpke officials.
The Rumpke employee, David J. Evans, was pinned between the back of the trash truck and a pickup truck in the crash and died at the hospital, according to Lt. Clint Arnold of the Hamilton Highway Patrol Post.
FIRST REPORT: Rumpke worker pinned, critically injured in Middletown crash
“There are no words to express the sorrow we are feeling for our driver and all those touched by today’s incident. Any accident is one too many. The safety of our drivers and the community is paramount. All of our thoughts and prayers are with our team member,” said Bridgett Biggs, safety manager at Rumpke.
The accident comes on the heels of new Ohio legislation.
Senate Bill 127, The “Slow Down to Get Around” law requires the motoring public to change lanes or slow down to pass collection vehicles stopped on roadways with flashing, oscillating or rotating lights, this includes garbage and recycling trucks. Ohio is the 17th state to pass a version of the Slow Down law.
The bill is awaiting Gov. John Kasich’s signature.
MORE: Another trash truck tragedy: ‘I lost both legs and quite a bit more of myself’
Rumpke played a major role in the passage of this legislation. Rumpke drivers testified in both the House and Senate in support of the bill.
The “Slow Down to Get Around” law is an addendum to the existing Move-Over law requiring drivers to move over for emergency vehicles, road service and towing vehicles, as well as rural mail delivery vehicles, a vehicle transporting preschool children, funeral hearses, funeral escort vehicles, highway maintenance vehicles or any similar equipment that use flashing, oscillating or rotating lights.
MORE: Ohio House votes to require drivers to move over for trash trucks
In addition to this legislative effort, Rumpke officials said the company has added signage and extra lighting to its trucks. Additional training, and more reflective attire has also been provided to drivers, according to the company.
“Customers often ask why Rumpke start routes so early. This is one of the main reasons, by avoiding peak traffic times, we are significantly reducing the risk of driver being hit,” Biggs said.
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