Sanitation worker killed in workplace accident


A Town of Hempstead sanitation worker was crushed to death at 1:25 p.m. on Wednesday as the truck he was riding on backed into a parked vehicle in Wantagh.


Jean MacDonald, 60, was standing on the right rear platform of his crew’s sanitation vehicle when the truck backed into a parked landscaping vehicle. The crew of three had been gathering leaves on Bunker Avenue at the time of the accident.


McDonald was rushed to a local hospital where doctors pronounced him dead. Police said the truck would undergo a safety inspection.


MacDonald, of Freeport, had been an employee of the Sanitation Department since 2006 and was “an exemplary employee,” in the words of Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen, who went on to describe him as “a hard-working and dedicated member of the Sanitation Department


"It is with profound sadness we report that longtime Town of Hempstead Sanitation worker Jean Macdonald was killed in a tragic accident yesterday while working on his route in Wantagh,” Gillen said. “We offer our most sincere condolences to his family during this most difficult time."


Town Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney pointed to the hazards of MacDonald’s work. “Many do not realize the dangers of the job,” she said. “Crews go out in all conditions and perform essential service.” King Sweeney offered her “deepest condolences.”


– Timothy Denton