Police continue to investigate a horrific Cape Coral traffic accident that killed an employee on the back of a garbage truck, the Fort Myers News-Press reported.
Many people do not associate fatal South Florida work accidents with traffic accidents. However, nearly half of all work-related fatalities are the result of a motor vehicle accident, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2008, traffic accidents killed 2,053 of the 5,071 employees who died in work accidents in the United States. In Florida, 107 of the 290 work-related fatalities were the result of a traffic accident.
In this case, a 52-year-old temporary employee for Waste Management died on Monday morning after a pickup truck slammed into the back of a garbage truck, where he was standing.
Detectives continue to investigate and will not say whether they believe drugs or alcohol were involved; charges could hinge on the outcome of a blood test.
The crash occurred on Skyline Boulevard in Cape Coral, where the victim and another employee were emptying garbage cans. The truck had its flashing safety lights on and both men were wearing safety vests. The impact of the crash shoved the victim beneath the garbage truck.
He was flown to Lee Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He had worked for Waste Management for several years through an employment service, Labor Finders.
A total of 31 workers in the garbage collection industry died in the United States in 2008, according to the National Solid Waste Management Association, a rate 10 times higher than the national average.