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Recycling worker dies in early morning accident

Residents react

Tuesday, April 5, 2011 - 3:05pm

BATON ROUGE, La (FOX44) -- It was a tragic day for a local recycling company. That's after one of it's employees died while on the job. Investigators say the driver of a recycling truck accidentally backed over her co-worker in an area neighborhood, killing him.

John Newman was working near the 1600 block of Rosemont when he heard a woman screaming. "She was like, 'Come on, man! Get up! Get up!' and we knew right then he was gone," says Newman.

He says she told him her co-worker, 39-year-old Kerien Dennis, must have fallen off the back of the truck while she was backing up and she didn't see. "She definitely ran over him," says Newman.

Residents did what they could to help, but it was too late. "His whole head was cut, you know, busted in half," says Mike Gardner.

Police say Dennis, an employee with the Recycling Foundation of Baton Rouge, died on the scene.

"He was just trying to make an honest living," says Newman. "It makes you think it could happen to you at any time."

The accident left people in the area shocked. "It's something you don't want to see everyday. It's something you don't ever want to see again," Newman says.

"It's upsetting," says Thomas Hoover. "We don't even know the guy and its horrible."

They wonder how and why it happened at all. "You would think they would have somebody standing there while she was backing up instead of some guy just standing there on the truck," says Hoover.

"It's just so many possibilities," says Gardner.

The owner of the Recycling Foundation of Baton Rouge declined comment about the accident. Police are still investigating.

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