Rumpke worker killed in Middletown crash

A Rumpke worker was hit by a passing motorist and killed Monday morning, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Care Flight airlifted the driver to Miami Valley Medical Center shortly after he was hit while he was out servicing customers on Central Avenue and Henkel Road just before 6:30 a.m., said Rumpke spokeswoman, Molly Yeager.

David J. Evans, 52,  was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The driver of the other vehicle, 41-year-old Brian Jankovich, sustained serious non-life threatening injuries and was taken to Atrium Medical Center.

Evans was dressed in appropriate reflective safety gear and all truck safety lights were in operation at the time of the accident, Rumpke officials said in a prepared statement.

"There are no words to express the sorrow we are feeling for our driver and all those touched by today's incident," said Bridgett Biggs, safety manager at Rumpke.

" Any accident is one too many. The safety of our drivers and the community is paramount. All of our thoughts and prayers are with our team member."

There were no other occupants or workers involved.

The crash remains under investigation by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

"We appreciate the quick response and assistance from all the first responders. Our safety team will work alongside them to ensure a thorough investigation," Biggs said.

Unfortunately, Rumpke officials said, this is not an isolated incident.

The accident comes on the heels new Ohio legislation.

Senate Bill 127, The "Slow Down to Get Around" law requires the motoring public to change lanes or slow down to pass collection vehicles stopped on roadways with flashing, oscillating or rotating lights, this includes garbage and recycling trucks.

Ohio is the 17th state to pass a version of the Slow Down law.

The National Waste & Recycling Association, McNeilus and Rumpke developed the Slow Down program following multiple accidents involving drivers being struck by passing motorists.

Rumpke officials say they played a major role in the passage of this legislation. Rumpke drivers testified in both the House and Senate in support of the bill.

The "Slow Down to Get Around" law is an addendum to the existing Move-Over law requiring drivers to move over for emergency vehicles, road service and towing vehicles, as well as rural mail delivery vehicles, a vehicle transporting preschool children, funeral hearses, funeral escort vehicles, highway maintenance vehicles or any similar equipment that use flashing, oscillating or rotating lights.

In addition to this legislative effort, Rumpke has added signs and extra lighting to trucks.  Additional training, and more reflective attire is provided to drivers.

"Customers often ask why Rumpke start routes so early. This is one of the main reasons," Biggs said. "By avoiding peak traffic times, we are significantly reducing the risk of driver being hit."

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