A 61-year-old male died this morning at a trash-processing facility in Mound.
Police are withholding his identity until next of kin can be notified.
Rick Blackowiak sold Blackowiak Roll Off and Collection Services several years ago but still lives next door to the company's headquarters. He said he knew the man who died Wednesday for "a long time," adding he was among those who reached him prior to the arrival of emergency responders.
"It looked like he just fell in," Blackowiak said. "He was just laying there."
Blackowiak said the man has been employed as a trash collector by the business for several years and was from the Wayzata area.
"It's a tough deal," he said. "A real tough deal."
Contrary to initial reports, Blackowiak said he did not believe the man had been crushed; he speculated the death was related to a medical condition.
The Office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which investigates work place accidents, has not been notified, although Lieutenant Paul Falls, interim chief of the Minnetrista Police Department, said contacting the agency has been discussed.
Citing an ongoing investigation involving several agencies, Falls said little else other than officers were called to the Sunnyfield Road address just after 8 a.m. after receiving reports of an unconcious male.
"Upon arrival officers found an adult male pinned in a hydraulic arm on the side of a garbage truck," he said. "Unfortunately that male was deceased when officers arrived."
Exactly when the victim's name will be released is unclear. The identity will be made public by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner.
Patch will have updates to this story as they become available.