KENMORE, Wash. — A harrowing rescue took place on a steep, icy road in the aftermath of our winter storms. A garbage truck lost control along a twisting section of NE 163rd St, and the driver ended up trapped beneath the rig.
A utility crew driving a snow plow first came upon this wreckage and quickly discovered the driver pinned between the vehicle and the snow and ice.
“Usually he comes in the morning and our trash has been out there all day,” said Donald Black, who lives nearby. “He was probably coming to get our trash right after he finished up there."
Firefighters worked on stabilizing the rig to keep it from sliding anymore, then started shoveling away the embankment to dig the man out.
“He either fell or somehow got out of the truck and got caught underneath the chassis,” said Battalion Chief Douglas Knight with the Northshore Fire Department.
The man was pinned for about an hour and a half before anybody found him, firefighters said, then waited another 45 minutes while crews worked to free him.
The icy conditions and terrain made the rescue especially challenging.
“Probably one of the steepest and more troublesome hills in the city,” Knight said.
Neighbors said the snowstorms led to some missed trash pick-up days but collecting garbage may not have been worth the risk.
“Maybe they should have some kind of scouting crew,” Black said. “I wouldn't have done it. I don't think it's safe at all."
The driver went to the hospital in stable condition. On Thursday night, his truck remained stuck in the embankment with plans to haul it away once there was enough light in the morning.