Woman flipped from bench by Rochester garbage truck arm

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Officials in Rochester, New York, are trying to find a woman who was flipped to the ground when a garbage truck’s mechanical arm tossed a bench in late July.

A short video of the incident, which allegedly took place July 29, was captured on video and has gone viral, the Democrat and Chronicle reported. In the video, the arm of the garbage truck is attempting to pick up a litter container when it knocks over the bench, sending the woman sprawling to the sidewalk, WROC reported.

A bystander alerts the truck driver, who goes to lend assistance to the woman. The woman initially attempts to get up but falls back on the pavement.

Karen St. Aubin, the operations director for the city’s environmental services department, said it was not clear who the woman was or how badly she was hurt, WHAM reported. St. Aubin added she did not see the video until late August. She added that the truck driver was a longtime employee and that he retired shortly after the incident. He did not report the event, the television station reported.

The video was captured by surveillance cameras at a Shop-Smart Mini Mart, WROC reported.

“We’re really trying to reach out and find her, and make sure that she’s all right,” St. Aubin told the Democrat and Chronicle. “We would love to know who she is and how she is.”

At a news conference Tuesday, St. Aubin said the non-reporting of incident “goes against our policy, certainly.”

“And now we have this incident where we’re trying to reenact it and get to the right person,” she said.

St. Aubin told reporters that she believed it was a case of operator error, and that the arm used to collect the litter did not have enough room. The litter bin can be seen sliding away slightly from the arm during the video.

“That truck was servicing a litter basket, that’s what it was doing -- it has an arm and it reached out and it caught the back of the bench when it was coming back in," St. Aubin said. "We go over this with our operators all the time, and we remind them that, anything you’re servicing, you’ve got to make sure you have distance from anything that’s there.”

City officials are asking anyone with information about the woman to call 311, WHAM reported.

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