Thursday, December 19, 2013

Recology worker tragically lost both legs

Pacifica Tribune  Letters to the Editor 12/17/13.  "Slow down for safety" by Lola Carrington on behalf of "Recycling Yard Dan"

Blinding morning sun north of town
may have caused this tragic accident
"Editor: I am writing in regards to the recent story about the major accident in Pacifica that injured a garbage truck worker that occurred Friday, Nov. 8, on Catalina Avenue. What was not mentioned in news accounts was that his injuries were extensive he had to have both of his legs amputated. This is a hard-working man who has worked for what is now Recology of the Coast for more than 24 years despite being only 43 years old.

....  My friend and neighbor is a co-worker of the man who was injured in that accident. He asked me to send this letter to remind us all to please slow down and pay attention when you are driving around town. Garbage and recycling collectors are on the streets doing their job. Please be respectful of of their safety and reduce your speed when you see a stopped Recology truck or a bright yellow vest. Just like you and me, these folks are trying to make a living."   Read more.

Related San Mateo Times/Erin Ivie, 11/13/13,  "Pacifica:  Recology employee pinned against recycling truck."  "The Recology employee double parked with lights flashing about 7:50 a.m. and was emptying a can into his truck when he was hit by a car headed south in the 200 block of Catalina Avenue, Steidle said. The 1997 Infinity smashed the man against the refuse truck, pinning his legs and trapping him between the two vehicles.  The driver, a 25-year-old San Francisco woman who said she was blinded by the morning sun, was uninjured in the crash, Steidle said. The driver was described as being "extremely cooperative" with investigators, and drugs and alcohol are not thought to be a factor."   Same article, Fix Pacifica reprint, 11/13/13.

Note:  photo from, however the web location and author credit were not available the time of this posting.  Enlarged image available at flickr. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Chris Porter, General Manager of Recology of the Coast said...

Hello all and thank you for printing this letter. My worker Mike has progressed to a rehab facility and will be released shortly to an assisted living facility while his home is being equipped with the needed ADA necessities. Unfortunately Mike lost both of his legs above the knee from the accident. A car came around a corner and hit the back of the garbage truck parked two houses up the street crushing Mike between their car and the garbage truck. There were no skid marks and the other car bounced back about 50 feet after impact. They said the sun was in their eyes but how can you miss a garbage truck? This accident happened close to 8am and a few blocks away from a school. I can only imagine if children would have been on the street. Some wonderful residents on Catalina came out to comfort Mike and call 911. I truly believe they saved Mike's life. Everyone knows the days the garbage trucks are in your area. Please give the drivers the courtesy of not trying to fly by them in your car when they have the truck stopped. We have had several near misses this year with people cursing the drivers because they had to wait. It takes less than one minute to dump a cart.Please give us that time to service your home. If time is so tight, please give yourself an additional 5 minutes on garbage day. Mike is a wonderful peaceful man who never had a bad word for anyone. He is loved by the customers on his routes who have continuousy called and sent gifts and positive messages on a daily basis since the accident. The next time you think about cursing the driver or racing by the truck please think of Mike and remember one quick moment can result in a life alterring event. Happy holidays to all our customers and may the peace of the season fill your homes.

Anonymous said...

Some guy got killed by a Recology truck this morning in SF.

The 3rd accident with a Recology truck this year.

According to Channel 2 news.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to think that 150 isn't keeping score. These are all tragedies and one of them happened very close to home. There are no words to describe what Mike, his family and those other accident victims are dealing with.

Kathy Meeh said...

716 agreed. Appreciate your comments and those of Chris.

Hutch said...

A terrible tragedy. I don't want to make the driver feel worse than they already must but geez if the sun is in your eyes slow the F down to a stop if necessary. This woman must have been flying to bounce off the truck 50 feet.

Chris, please let us know if there's a fund set up to help this poor guy.

Chris Porter, General Manager of Recology of the Coast said...

I keep getting calls about this but am ignorant on how to do something like this. Readers of the blog can you please advise me.

Tom Clifford said...

Chris, most bank will allow you to set up an account for people to donate to. I can check into it with U.S. Bank on Monday and give you all the details

Hutch said...

Chris I think they can tell you how to set up a donation account at any Bank. Irene at US Bank in Eureka Square was very helpful for our political account. Here's her number 650-355-4144