Driver Crashes into Recycling Truck, Pinning and Killing City Worker
Details of Fatal Crash
Mark D. Gates was collecting recyclables behind his recycling truck on the westbound lanes of Washington Avenue between Illinois and Oregon Streets when the fatal accident happened. Gates was in the process of loading a bin onto the truck, safety flashers activated on the truck at around 9:50 a.m. local time. Benjamin Bell, 20, was traveling at high rates of speed down Washington Avenue when he struck the man and pinned him between his car and the recycling truck.
The Journal Times reports that Gates was pinned at around waist level between the two vehicles. People nearby rushed to Gates, who is also a pastor at the Christ Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, and tried to provide assistance before emergency crews arrived. Gates was rushed to a nearby hospital via ambulance before being airlifted to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa.
Gates succumbed to his injuries later on Wednesday afternoon, according to The Journal Times. Witnesses to the crash say Bell was traveling well over the posted 30 mph speed limit on the road, one estimating he was traveling at 60 mph. Bell was arrested and is being charged with homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle and first-degree recklessly endangering safety.
Other witness reports, according to The Journal Times, say Bell was weaving around traffic, driving erratically on Washington Avenue prior to the fatal collision.
Pedestrian-related Traffic Crash Statistics
The following information is provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
- 4,884 pedestrians died in traffic crashes in 2014.
- On average, a pedestrian died every 2 hours and sustained injuries every 8 minutes in traffic crashes.
- Pedestrian deaths accounted for 15 percent of all traffic fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes.
- Ninety percent of the pedestrians killed in traffic crashes in 2014 involved a single vehicle.