Man injured after falling asleep in hotel dumpster

Published 11:32 am Friday, December 4, 2015

An Elizabethton man was saved from nearly being compacted in an Elizabethton city garbage truck when the driver heard his screams this morning.
According to a police report, Gerald Melvin Harris, 35, with a reported address of 2765 Siam Road, was sleeping in the dumpster behind Traveler’s Inn, located at 505 West Elk Ave., when a city employee arrived to empty the dumpster.
The employee was not aware Harris was in the dumpster, and he backed the truck up to the dumpster, lifted it and emptied it into the truck.
“(The employee) then proceeded to compact the trash, this is when he heard a male subject screaming from inside the dump truck,” EPD Officer Matthew Taylor said in his report. The employee immediately stopped the compactor and called 911.
Members of the Elizabethton Fire Department, the Elizabethton Police Department and the Carter County Emergency and Rescue Squad arrived soon after to help Harris out of the dump truck.
Harris was alert and oriented despite complaints of arm pain, Taylor said in his report. Carter County emergency medical personnel transported him to Sycamore Shoals Hospital.
City Manager Jerome Kitchens said Harris suffered scratches, abrasions and possibly a broken arm.

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