ANDERSON Co., S.C. (WSPA) — A Honea Path sanitation worker, who was hit by a garbage truck Thursday morning and later died from his injuries, was identified by the Anderson County Coroner’s Office.
According to South Carolina Highway Patrol, the accident happened just before 6:15 a.m. at the intersection of Pitts and Orr streets.
Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore said the victim — identified as Richard Ernest Smith, 49, of Honea Path — was hit by a town garbage truck. He said the victim and other sanitation workers were emptying cans along Pitts Street when he accidentally fell or tripped, and then was hit by the truck that was backing down the street.
According to the release, the driver of the garbage truck lost sight of Smith while backing up the vehicle.
Smith was reportedly pinned under the truck and had to be removed from underneath the vehicle.
Honea Path Fire Department and Honea Path Fire-EMS responded to the scene, provided medical care and transported Smith to Prisma Health Greenville Memorial Hospital.
Smith later died as a result of blunt force trauma just after 7 a.m.
An autopsy was completed at AnMed Medical Center Thursday afternoon.
An investigation is ongoing by the coroner’s office, highway patrol and South Carolina OSHA.
Honea Path Mayor Earl Lollis Meyers issued the following statement about the incident:
“It (is) with much sadness and sorrow that I announce that the Town of Honea Path has lost an employee that was accidentally killed in a town garbage truck accident while working today. The SC Department of Transportation and the SC Highway Patrol are currently investigating this tragic accident. At this time, we cannot release the name of the employee. The accident occurred today at approximately 6:15 a.m. at Pitts Street in Honea Path, SC. We are in the process of contacting OSHA for further investigation. The Anderson County Coroner is also involved in investigating and will notify the family members.
The entire Honea Path family wish to offer our thoughts and prayers to his family. This is all of the information that I have at this time.
Please keep the entire Honea Path community in your thoughts and prayers.”– Earl Lollis Meyers