Buffalo city employee is crushed to death by high loader following record 6ft snowfall

Buffalo city employee is crushed to death by high loader as it reversed to drop load of snow into another truck following record 6ft snowfall

  • The employee, who died at the scene, has worked in city government for decades
  • They were struck at 11:15 a.m. Wednesday in McKinley Parkway, according to the Buffalo Police Department
  • The truck driver was assisting in removing the record snowfall

New York has been left ‘heartbroken’ after a city employee in Buffalo was fatally struck by a high loader truck while assisting in removing the record snowfall on Wednesday.

The employee, who died at the scene, has not yet been identified, pending family notification.

The worker was struck at 11:15 a.m. Wednesday in McKinley Parkway in South Buffalo by a truck depositing snow into a dump truck in reverse, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said at a news conference.

City workers had been assisting with snow removal efforts round the clock after Buffalo was hit with a storm last week that left more than six feet of snow in some parts.

New York has been left 'heartbroken' after a city employee in Buffalo was fatally struck by a high loader truck while assisting in removing record snowfall on Wednesday. The worker was struck at 11:15 a.m. Wednesday in McKinley Parkway in South Buffalo by a truck depositing snow into a dump truck in reverse, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said

New York has been left ‘heartbroken’ after a city employee in Buffalo was fatally struck by a high loader truck while assisting in removing record snowfall on Wednesday. The worker was struck at 11:15 a.m. Wednesday in McKinley Parkway in South Buffalo by a truck depositing snow into a dump truck in reverse, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said at the conference: ‘This is an individual that is well known to all of us, someone who has worked in city government as I indicated for decades.

‘Someone with a wealth of experience who has given much to city service over those decades.’

He said that an investigation has been launched by the Buffalo Police Department’s accident investigation unit.

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.’

The driver of the high loader was a third-party contractor used by the city to help remove the huge dump of snow that fell on the city November 19.

Pictured: Fire fighters Larry McPhail and Nick Eoanno clear fire hydrants after an intense lake-effect snowstorm that impacted the area on November 20 in Buffalo, New York

Pictured: Fire fighters Larry McPhail and Nick Eoanno clear fire hydrants after an intense lake-effect snowstorm that impacted the area on November 20 in Buffalo, New York

He is ‘in shock’ but is assisting with the city’s investigation, Brown said.

Buffalo is suspending the removal of snow through Friday morning due to the tragedy.

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.’

Sleep deprivation has not been stated as the cause of the accident.

It is the fifth storm-related death in the region over the last week, according to The Buffalo News.

Pictured: Cars make their way through tree lined streets after an intense lake-effect snowstorm that impacted the area on November 20 in Buffalo, New York

Pictured: Cars make their way through tree lined streets after an intense lake-effect snowstorm that impacted the area on November 20 in Buffalo, New York

Three people suffered fatal cardiac events related to shoveling snow, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said.

A 74-year-old man crashed his vehicle Friday during the storm and was found dead Tuesday, the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office said.

Brown said that on Wednesday there were 180 pieces of heavy equipment clearing snow from South Buffalo.

Police were being used as traffic control to stop workers, pedestrians and motorists from being injured by the equipment at the time of the accident.

Snow began falling Thursday last week in towns south of Buffalo.

The National Weather Service recorded 77 inches by Saturday in Orchard Park.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said at a briefing Sunday: ‘This has been a historic storm. Without a doubt, this is one for the record books.’

The last comparable storm occurred in November 2014, when some areas south of the city recorded seven feet of snow, causing significant damage to buildings.

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