Garbage truck driver ran over woman found dead in sleeping bag, Eugene police say

A woman killed in a Eugene parking lot Monday was run over by a garbage truck while in a sleeping bag, police say.

Investigators are still working to identify the woman, police spokeswoman Melinda McLaughlin said Wednesday. The driver, who works for recycling and garbage collection company SaniPac, was identified and found Monday hours after the woman was killed.

McLaughlin said an investigation is ongoing and declined to release more information in the case. No arrests or citations have been announced by police, and the driver hasn’t been publicly identified.

Authorities said Monday that officers responded around 6:30 a.m. to the 1200 block of Willamette Street and found a person dead in a sleeping bag.

The death was initially investigated as a hit and run because the vehicle involved was gone when officers arrived.

According to a search warrant affidavit, surveillance video showed the SaniPac truck backing up in the parking lot around 5:20 a.m.
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and its rear lights shining on the woman. The front of the cab appeared to be about parallel to the sleeping woman, when the truck turned down an alley toward her and appeared to run her over while passing through the alley, the affidavit said.

Police worked with the recycling company’s district manager to find the involved truck and later found evidence related to the crash on its rear passenger wheel well, the affidavit said. It isn’t clear from the court document what the driver told police.

The search warrant was filed by a Eugene police officer seeking to examine the garbage truck, the affidavit said.

The officer wrote that he has probable cause to believe there’s evidence the truck driver committed felony failure to perform the duties of a driver, the affidavit said.

— Everton Bailey Jr.

ebailey@oregonian.com | 503-221-8343 | @EvertonBailey

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