A Berkeley sanitation worker was killed when he was apparently pinned between a garbage truck and a utility pole while on his regular route in the Berkeley Hills on Monday.
The state Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating reports that the truck rolled into 52-year-old Johnny Tolliver along Parnassus Road just after noon Monday and how that might have happened, according to city and Cal/OSHA officials.
Neighbors rushed to Tolliver’s aid after the accident and he was rushed to a hospital but died there later in the day, city spokesman Matthai Chakko said. Tolliver had been with Berkeley’s garbage pickup service, the Zero Waste Division, for 25 years.
“We’re trying to do whatever we can to support the family and his coworkers in Zero Waste.”
Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates issued a statement expressing his remorse at Tolliver’s death Tuesday:
“It was a terrible shock to all of us who work for the City, and I am deeply saddened by the death of one of our highly valued and esteemed employees. … I join with many others here in extending our deepest sympathies for the immeasurable grief experienced by those who knew and loved him.”
In addition to Cal/OSHA, the city is conducting its own investigation, Chakko said.