DELHI TOWNSHIP, Ohio — A driver seriously injured a Rumpke employee early Wednesday morning when she hit him outside his truck on Anderson Ferry Road, according to Chief Jim Howarth.
A driver traveling southbound hit the employee as he was operating the back collector, Howarth said. The truck’s flashing lights were on, and the employee was operating the truck by himself at the time of the crash, according to Howarth.
First responders transported the Rumpke employee and the driver to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center with serious injuries.
Rumpke spokeswoman Molly Yeager said the crash happened at about 3 a.m., but no one knew about the crash until about an hour later because both the Rumpke employee and the driver were seriously injured and unable to call 911. A Delhi Township officer happened upon the crash, Yeager said.
“Our thoughts right now are with everyone involved, but most certainly with our driver … these types of accidents happen in our line of work, but we try very hard to prevent them," Yeager said.
In a written statement, Rumpke safety manager Bridgett Biggs thanked first responders and investigators.
“There are no words to describe the pain that our entire Rumpke Family endures when a fellow team member is so seriously hurt in an accident of this kind,” Biggs said.
Wednesday’s crash comes more than a year after a suspected drugged driver hit and killed Rumpke worker David Evans in Middletown.
A driver on July 30, 2018 hit 52-year-old Evans as he was throwing trash in the back of his truck on Central Avenue. The driver of the vehicle that killed Evans tested positive for drug use after the incident, police said.
Garbage collectors have one of the most dangerous jobs in the nation, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics -- with a higher rate of fatal injury than even police officers and steelworkers.
Lawmakers passed Senate Bill 127, the “slow down to get around” law, on Oct. 29, 2018. The law requires drivers to change lanes or slow down to pass collection vehicles stopped on roadways that have flashing, oscillating or rotating lights. Ohio is the 17th state to pass this law.
Anderson Ferry Road reopened at about 8:15 a.m. Authorities had closed the road for hours while they investigated.
The Delhi Township Police Department is handling the investigation.
WCPO will update this story as more information becomes available.