By GREG RUSSELL, Register Staff Writer
A man was hospitalized following a severe truck accident Tuesday morning near the intersection of Harris and Locust streets in Gainesville.
Department of Public Safety (DPS) Public Information Officer Mark Tackett said City of Gainesville employee Angel Garcia, 30, of Gainesville, is currently in stable condition at Parkland Medical Center in Dallas after injuries sustained from being pinned underneath a city garbage truck.
Around 10 a.m. Tuesday, Tackett said, Garcia was driving a 2010 Mack garbage truck in the 1500 block of Harris Street when he veered off the roadway and struck two trees.
Tackett explained the impact ripped open Garcia’s side of the truck’s cab and ejected him from his seat — forcing him onto the street while the truck kept rolling.
Garcia was alone during the incident, as the city garbage trucks are single-operator vehicles.
“He was thrown to the ground and pinned underneath the right rear tires of the truck,” Tackett said. “And once crews worked hard to get him released, he was transported.”
As of 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Tackett added, Garcia was in stable condition. City Manager Barry Sullivan explained Tuesday that the severity of the incident required that DPS handle the investigation rather than City of Gainesville officials.
“If it’s a simple, ‘We backed into somebody,’ then we investigate that and get it done with,” Sullivan said. “But with a situation like this, we usually call in a different agency.”
Sullivan said Garcia has been employed with the city for two years and that the cause of the accident remains undefined.
He also credited the officers involved with extracting Garcia from the wreckage.
“Our emergency responders reacted quickly to this and everybody did everything they could to deal with the situation,” he said. “The biggest thing is, our prayers are with him and his family. And we're trying to work with our own employees to help them deal with the situation.”