Sanitation worker killed in St. Albans crash

By  | 

ST. ALBANS, Vt. (WCAX) An early morning crash in St. Albans claimed the life of a sanitation worker.

"To have something like this happen is just tragic," said Joe Fusco, the vice president of Casella.

Police say two Casella workers were behind a garbage truck on Route 36 early Friday morning when it was rear-ended by a white GMC utility van. One man was able to get out of the way in time but the other was hit.

Meaghan Malboeuf lives nearby and was woken up by her son who heard the crash.

"He heard a loud noise. He thought it was a thunder. He looked outside and he really thought something was happening," she said.

Police say the garbage truck had stopped and the Casella worker was picking up trash when he was pinned. The worker was pronounced dead at the scene. Police identified him as Patrick Wedge of St. Albans.

"This was a father and a friend and a team member of ours. And we just want to urge everybody to be extra cautious as you're out there," Fusco said.

Police say the other Casella worker was Brian Record of Colchester, who had just minor injuries. The driver who allegedly hit his colleague is Ben Smyth of East Fairfield.

"The operator of the van was taken to Northwest Medical Center for his injuries," St. Albans Police Cpl. Paul Morits said.

Smyth was trapped and had to be freed. He was last listed in serious condition.

The location of the impact was on a decline and around a corner.

"I guess the curves definitely make it difficult to see," Malboeuf said.

The exact cause of the crash is still under investigation. Police say alcohol does not appear to be a factor. So far, no one is charged in the case.