Mesa man dies after being hit by garbage truck


by Catherine Holland

Posted on March 7, 2014 at 9:16 AM

Updated Monday, Mar 10 at 3:38 PM

Palm Gardens Mobile Home Park
2929 E. Main Street

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MESA, Ariz. -- A Mesa man who was struck by a garbage truck Friday morning has died.

Gerald Lake, 71,  was hit at the Palm Gardens Mobile Home Manor, a retirement community just southeast of Main Street and Lindsay Road.

"This is one of the type of trucks that has the big arm that comes out and lifts the receptacles," said Detective Steve Berry of the Mesa Police Department. "The street in question here is a one-way-in, one-way-out street."

Lake was hit at the end of that one-way street. He was taken to a local hospital where he later died.

"Any time you're dealing with a vehicle of this size, a garbage truck …, obviously there's certainly the potential for some serious injury," Berry said.

Initial information shows that Lake was trying to wheel out his trash from the opposite side of the street where the truck was emptying barrels. In doing so, he crossed in front of the truck and was struck.

Investigators said the driver showed no signs of impairment.