A homeless man was crushed to death on Saturday morning after he fell asleep in his sleeping bag inside a garbage truck in Chicago.
“This isn’t something you see every day,” said Chief of Patrol Michael Calabrese.
The man was allegedly asleep with his sleeping bag in his hand when the driver started to take his garbage to the post at 8 a.m. on Saturday.
“The gentleman left the truck and my understanding is he was in his sleeping bag, said Calabrese.
About an hour later, another driver happened to drive by the garbage truck and noticed the man trapped inside. Fire Department Deputy Chief Jerry Fishman later said the man was pinned to the bed of the garbage truck from the middle to the top of the cab.
Calabrese called the incident a “senseless tragedy” while speaking with Fox2 Chicago.
“It breaks my heart for the family and friends of this homeless person and the family, the friends, who really witnessed the unwarranted death of a senior citizen,” he added.
Carlos and Edward W. Escobar, Jr., the owners of a nearby business that works with the homeless, said that this incident was out of the ordinary.
“They’re looking for safety, rest, and food so they are very trusting,” said Edgar Escobar, Jr.
Stacy Lehman, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation, said they do have measures in place to ensure the safety of the homeless.
The situation reminds many of a similar killing in Winter Park, Florida, last January.
John Hill of Polk County, Florida, was asleep in his parked pickup truck when he was unable to survive a collision, and a garbage truck crushed him to death.
“We’ve been very good since I’ve been on the job,” said Marcellus Gardner, the crew leader of the garbage truck that killed the man.
The driver said that although the weather didn’t seem cold, it was still windy that morning.
State records show that he has six violations with the city of Chicago since 2014. The most recent was in March of 2018 for failing to use the driver’s seatbelt.
The accident killed 24-year-old Joseph Jurski, said State Fire Marshal Patrick DeVivo.
DeVivo and three other investigators were on the scene trying to figure out what happened.
There were also no signs of frostbite, DeVivo said.
The Cook County Medical Examiner was expected to issue the official cause of death on Monday.
“This was a clear violation of city ordinance and it was clearly reckless,” said Kelly Fuller, a spokeswoman for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Agence France-Presse contributed to this report.