Originally created 03/14/97

Augusta man discovered in trash truck



A 38-year-old Augusta man woke up half-buried in the back of a trash truck Thursday when the trash bin he was sleeping in was emptied.

Roy Gibson Jr. was sleeping in a trash bin when the truck came for its pickup at 6 a.m. and didn't stir until he was in the truck and covered with trash, his wife said.

"He was hollering, but they didn't hear him," said his wife, Janie. "It took his breath. He thought he was going to die. He told me the Lord saved him."

The truck went to three stops along its Washington Road route until the driver saw him throwing trash over the edge and stopped, according to what Mr. Gibson told his wife.

Mr. Gibson was rushed to Medical College of Georgia Hospital, where he was treated for leg injuries. His legs were cut up and smashed when the truck's compactor blade pressed the garbage. It took one hour and 20 minutes to fish him out of the trash because he was so buried.

"We dumped a guy in the hopper this morning," said Waste Management of Augusta-Aiken General Manager Randy Canal. "He was lucky. If the driver didn't see him he would have been hurt pretty bad or maybe worse."

This trash story actually started early Thursday morning at about 12:30 a.m. when Mr. Gibson walked from his apartment at Savannah West Apartments to get some cigarettes, his wife said.

He has a bad foot from an old hunting accident and can't walk far. Apparently all the walking Thursday morning was too much and he grew tired and got in the trash bin to sleep, Ms. Gibson said.

"He didn't have any money for a cab," Ms. Gibson said. "I'm part blind and couldn't get him. He got down in there to get the wind off him. He got in there and thought he could sleep until he got to the morning."

Ms. Gibson was relieved that her husband escaped with just leg injuries and back pains. MCG listed Mr. Gibson in good condition Thursday afternoon.