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Waste Management Pushes Safety in Wake of Fatal Accident

In response to Thursday’s fatal accident at the Bovoni Landfill on St. Thomas, Waste Management Authority officials are now putting trash bins at the front of the property to help keep residents away from the heavy equipment.

The V.I. Police Department reported that 55-year-old Robert Hendrickson Sr. was crushed Thursday night after a backhoe reversed over his car. Some more of the details were filled in Friday by Waste Management Authority spokeswoman Stella Saunders, who explained that the backhoe and Hendrickson’s car were reversing at the same time when they collided.

“He was not parked,” Saunders said about Hendrickson. “He came up to dispose of his waste, and we have spotters that tell people where to go, and there was a miscommunication, so he ended up reversing while the backhoe was reversing, and they were just reversing at the same time.”

Saunders said the backhoe is used daily to compact the trash at the landfill. While she could not say how fast the machine was moving Thursday, Saunders explained that in general, the machines do not go more than 3-4 miles per hour.

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“It moves very, very slowly to compact the garbage,” Saunders said.

Saunders said the Waste Management Authority has already taken action to make sure another such accident does not happen again.

“What we have done is that we have now placed the 20 yard bins at the front of the landfill to dissuade residents from going up to dispose of their waste, but the haulers and the trucks will still be around to help dispose of the waste properly,” Saunders said.

Both the driver and spotter involved in Thursday’s incident are employees are A-9 Trucking, which is contracted by the Waste Management Authority to provide various services at the dump. Saunders said the Waste Management Authority is now waiting for a formal report from A-9 on the incident.

What happens to the two employees will be determined by VIPD after they have completed their investigation. According to a release sent by VIPD Thursday, the backhoe ran over the driver’s side and front of Hendrickson’s truck.

“The vehicle needed to be cut open to remove the victim,” the release said. “He was dead on the scene.”

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In response to Thursday’s fatal accident at the Bovoni Landfill on St. Thomas, Waste Management Authority officials are now putting trash bins at the front of the property to help keep residents away from the heavy equipment.

The V.I. Police Department reported that 55-year-old Robert Hendrickson Sr. was crushed Thursday night after a backhoe reversed over his car. Some more of the details were filled in Friday by Waste Management Authority spokeswoman Stella Saunders, who explained that the backhoe and Hendrickson’s car were reversing at the same time when they collided.

“He was not parked,” Saunders said about Hendrickson. “He came up to dispose of his waste, and we have spotters that tell people where to go, and there was a miscommunication, so he ended up reversing while the backhoe was reversing, and they were just reversing at the same time.”

Saunders said the backhoe is used daily to compact the trash at the landfill. While she could not say how fast the machine was moving Thursday, Saunders explained that in general, the machines do not go more than 3-4 miles per hour.

“It moves very, very slowly to compact the garbage,” Saunders said.

Saunders said the Waste Management Authority has already taken action to make sure another such accident does not happen again.

“What we have done is that we have now placed the 20 yard bins at the front of the landfill to dissuade residents from going up to dispose of their waste, but the haulers and the trucks will still be around to help dispose of the waste properly,” Saunders said.

Both the driver and spotter involved in Thursday’s incident are employees are A-9 Trucking, which is contracted by the Waste Management Authority to provide various services at the dump. Saunders said the Waste Management Authority is now waiting for a formal report from A-9 on the incident.

What happens to the two employees will be determined by VIPD after they have completed their investigation. According to a release sent by VIPD Thursday, the backhoe ran over the driver’s side and front of Hendrickson’s truck.

“The vehicle needed to be cut open to remove the victim,” the release said. “He was dead on the scene.”