UPDATE: Police release the name of the garbage truck driver who died Thursday after being run over by his sliding truck
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Anchorage Police Department says a garbage truck driver has died after he fell underneath a sliding garbage truck. Police identified the man as 62-year-old Robin E. Hager.
APD says around 7 a.m. Thursday, officers responded to the 5200-block of Caribou Ave. in Russian Jack Park for a crash. Once on scene, they learned that Hager, a garbage truck driver for Blue Arctic Waste, had pulled up to a residence to empty a trash can.
“The driver lowered the trash truck’s arm but was unable to lift the can due to the can being frozen in the ice,” wrote APD Thursday. “The driver exited the truck, and was standing next to it, when the unoccupied garbage truck began to slide on the ice.”
Police say the truck’s extended arm knocked over Hager, and he fell underneath the sliding truck.
Jennifer Vinsonhalor said it was her can the driver was trying to free from the ice. She had never met the man before but said on Thursday morning that she went to thank him for going out of his way to empty their cans and sometimes put them back by the house.
“I was talking to him telling him how much I always appreciate him doing that for us,” she said.
As they spoke, Vinsonhalor said the metal arm that gripped the can moved and knocked Hager down. At the same time, the bus slid and ran over him.
“I didn’t have a phone, so I ran and called for help and called 911,” she said. “I’m medically trained, so I knew to start chest compressions.”
Vinsonhalor said Hager was still breathing as she worked so she spoke with him to keep him calm. She also prayed.
“I knew that I needed to pray for him while we were doing this. Then the police came. They said he didn’t suffer.”
Police say representatives from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration responded to the scene, and a joint investigation with APD is underway.
An administrator at Arctic Waste said he was a diligent employee who had worked at the company for several years. She called the driver a “customer favorite” because he was always so helpful to people on his route.
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