ST. PETERSBURG – Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies are conducting a death investigation following an apparent industrial accident that occurred Thursday, March 6, at the Pinellas County Solid Waste Facility, 3001 110th St. N. in St. Petersburg.
According to investigators, Brian Keith Porter, 47, of Sarasota, drove the dump truck into the front gate of the waste facility at 11:29 a.m. He proceeded to the Waste to Energy Plant building, where he backed into bay No. 3 with a full load of trash. Deputies said it appears that he started to dump the load and encountered some type of malfunction with the bed of the truck.
At approximately 11:39 a.m., a worker found Porter pinned between the frame rail of the truck and the fully loaded dumping bed. Deputies said the worker reported the incident when he noticed that the dump truck had remained stationary.
Various fire department personnel responded to the scene and used fork lifts to raise the bed and free the man. The Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct an autopsy to determine cause and manner of death.
Deputies said the death appears to be accidental and that there is no indication that Porter or the vehicle are associated with a business. It appears he may be an independent worker.