ESSEX COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT – NEWARK, NEW JERSEY
A 46-year-old diesel mechanic was crushed to death while repairing a valve inside the compactor unit of a front-end loader garbage truck. The valves, which the mechanic was repairing, should have been located outside the compactor unit, rather than inside the unit where the crushing compactor blade was located. After the mechanic repaired the blade with the truck running, the blade began to move toward him – but he was trapped inside the compactor unit. When the owner of the garbage carting company screamed to the mechanic to get out of the truck, the driver of the truck mistakenly jumped out of the cab and failed to push the kill switch to the compactor blade which was located next to him in the cab. Unfortunately, by the time the owner jumped in the cab to push the kill switch, it was too late.