A Buffalo city worker has died in a tragic accident after being crushed by a high loader truck on Wednesday morning. Before the incident, they were working to clear jaw-dropping snowfall in the Buffalo area. According to Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia, the employee died instantly when he was struck at 11:15 am by a truck moving snow into a dump truck in reverse.
Before, city workers had been helping with snow removal efforts all night long after the city was hit with winter snowfall that battered the city with six feet of snow in some parts.
“This is an individual that is well known to all of us, someone who has worked in city government as I indicated for decades,” said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown at a recent press conference. He added: “Someone with a wealth of experience who has given much to city service over those decades.”
He also revealed that the Buffalo Police Department’s accident investigation unit had launched an investigation into the case.
Gramaglia added: “These are always tough scenes, and it’s compounded when it’s a friend and when it’s a person who’s well-known to those who are on the scene investigating the accident as well as the coworkers.
“So our hearts go out to the family. Our hearts go out to the workers out here that have been working so hard for days on end. It’s a terrible loss.”
City officials launch investigation into employee’s death after he tragically dies while removing snowfall
The driver was also a third-party contractor used by Buffalo to help remove the massive pile-up of snow. The snowfall hit the city on November 19. The city is also suspending snow removal through Friday morning due to the incident.
Brown added: “We know that there is tremendous grief in the workforce right now. We know that people have been working 16-, 18-hour shifts, working on very little sleep.”
“Clearly in a snowstorm like this where it started snowing on Thursday and didn’t end until Sunday, people are working around the clock. People are working long hours.”
However, sleep deprivation has not been revealed as the cause of the accident. According to outlets, this comes as the fifth storm-related death in the area over the last week. According to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, at least two people died from fatal cardiac events related to shoveling snow.
Later, the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office said that a 74-year-old man crashed his vehicle Friday and was found dead Tuesday. Brown also said that on the day before Thanksgiving, 180 pieces of heavy equipment cleared snow from South Buffalo. Police were also acting as traffic control to stop people from being injured by the equipment.