A truck driver working to clear debris from the Sonoma wildfires lost his life at a landfill over the weekend when he was struck by his own truck.
The fatal accident happened on Friday afternoon at Republic Services Landfill in Petaluma, California.
Trucker Found Under The Wheels Of His Own Rig
Sixty year old Ezekiel Jackson Sumner was driving a dump truck with an attached trailer full of debris from the wildfires that raged through California wine country.
Sumner had arrived at the landfill around 4:45 p.m.
Around 6 p.m., a landfill employee noticed that something was amiss with Sumner’s truck — the tires were smoking and the truck, which was in gear, had backed into the trailer.
After the landfill employee put on the parking brake, he noticed Sumner pinned under the truck’s tires.
Sumner was pronounced dead at the scene soon after.
Authorities Are Investigating Cause Of Fatal Accident
California Highway Patrol Officer Jon Sloat says that an initial investigation into the incident suggests that Sumner had been reattaching the trailer to the truck when the truck struck and ran over him.
The truck has been impounded and investigators will be looking into whether a mechanical defect or human error was responsible for the fatal incident.
At the time of his death, Sumner had been employed as a subcontractor for Florida-based disaster recovery and special environmental services contractor AshBritt. Following Sumner’s death, AshBritt workers were instructed to stop work on Saturday and were required to attend four hours of safety training. Ashbritt has been accused of lax safety standards in the wake of other disasters.
Fellow truck driver Cynthia Rogers told CBS that she believes that a mechanical malfunction was to blame for Sumner’s death.