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City of Abilene garbage truck driver who struck, killed man on paid leave

By Joe Fry, Assignment Editor/Photographer, jfry@ktxs.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 07:28:46 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 17 2013 12:45:26 PM CST
Garbage truck that hit someone

ABILENE, Texas -

The city of Abilene garbage truck driver who backed over and killed a 57-year-old man is on paid leave, City Manager Larry Gilley said Monday.

However, Gilley said, “At this point, we believe it was just simply a tragic accident.”

The driver has been tested for drugs and alcohol, Gilley said, and both results were negative. In addition, the city has said the garbage truck did have a backup camera and a backup warning indicator and that both were working at the time of the accident.

Max D. Mitchell, of Coleman, died after being struck and backed over by the city garbage truck about 10:40 a.m. Thursday at MCG Drilling-Completing LLC in the 3500 block of East Highway 80.

Gilley offered condolences to Mitchell’s family and acknowledged the refuse truck driver was “very shaken by the incident.”

“We’re doing our best to make sure he’s (the driver) OK,” Gilley said, noting city officials are “just taking it one day at a time.”

Gilley said the driver will be evaluated when “we bring him back on the job this week.”

The previous story:

City of Abilene officials said no charges have been filed -- at this time -- against the driver of the garbage truck that backed over a 57-year-old Coleman man who later died Thursday.

On Friday, officials said the driver was tested for drugs and alcohol and that both results were negative.

The city said the garbage truck did have a backup camera and a backup warning indicator and that both were working at the time of the accident.

The city of Abilene and the Abilene Police Department are actively investigating this accident.

The original story:

A city of Abilene garbage truck ran over and killed a 57-year-old man near a business in the 3500 block of East Highway 80 on Thursday morning, police and city officials have confirmed.

Max D. Mitchell, of Coleman, was struck by the truck at MCG Drilling-Completing LLC about 10:40 a.m. Thursday. Next of kin have been notified.

According to police, Mitchell was hit when the refuse truck was backing up on the company’s property.  

"Our hearts are heavy here at the city of Abilene with news of this tragic accident," City Manager Larry Gilley said in a news release. "We offer our thoughts and prayers to all of those involved. The investigation into this accident is ongoing and we will provide additional information as it becomes available."

Authorities said they believe Mitchell worked at the drilling company, but that hasn't been confirmed.

The Stevens Funeral Home in Coleman is in charge of arrangements for Mitchell.