Waste Pro employee Demont'e Harris, 21 and a resident of Palm Coast, died the morning of Nov. 21 when the recycling truck he was riding in overturned onto its passenger side in the Woodlands, pinning him beneath the vehicle.
Neighbors rushed to the scene to try to help him, but could not.
The employee who was driving the Mack LEU600 truck was helped out of the cab by neighbors and was not injured.
The incident occurred at about 9:50 a.m. in front of 1 Bay Spring Place, near the intersection with Oak Trails Boulevard. Four calls came in to 911 between 9:50 a.m. and 9:54, according to Flagler County Sheriff's Office records. One caller said that people were trying to dig the worker out from beneath the truck and had put out a fire on his leg.
City of Palm Coast Fire Rescue crews on Engine 21 and Engine 22 arrived at 9:57 a.m. and began trying to access Harris, but when they were able to do so, he was already unresponsive, city of Palm Coast spokeswoman Cindi Lane said. He was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m.
Waste Pro spokesman Ron Pecora said Harris was working as a helper, emptying recycling bins into the truck. He was riding inside the cab when the truck overturned.
Harris had been working with Waste Pro for about a year, Pecora said.
"The Waste Pro family is devastated by today’s tragic accident," Pecora said. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and loved ones of our team member." Waste Pro has dispatched grief counselors for its other employees, Pecora said.
The Florida Highway Patrol, which is investigating the incident, reported in a press release that the truck had been traveling in the northbound lane on Bay Springs Place when it crossed into the road's outside shoulder and overturned on to the right side of the road.
Although the crash is the first Waste Pro incident in Palm Coast that has led to a death, Pecora said, another Waste Pro worker was severely injured on Sep. 25 after his recycling truck ran over his leg on Bickwick Lane.