Metro-East News

Boy struck by garbage truck in Fairview Heights, still in critical condition

A 5-year-old boy who was struck by an Aspen Waste Systems Inc. garbage truck on Wednesday has undergone one surgery and remains in critical condition, Fairview Heights Police said Thursday.

The boy is still at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis and is expected to undergo additional surgeries for his injuries, police added.

The child, whose name was not released, was hit while on his bike about 3:50 p.m. Wednesday in the 5600 block of East Drive. He had extensive injuries to his lower body but was conscious and talking when officers arrived. The boy was visiting relatives in the area when he rode his bike into the street while the garbage truck was passing, police said.

According to police, the truck driver had completed a trash pickup at a residence on East Drive. The driver got back into his truck and was driving a short distance to the next residence on East Drive when the child was struck.

This Illinois State Police Commercial Motor Vehicle Unit completed a thorough inspection of the garbage truck, Fairview Heights police said.

No citations were issued by the Illinois State Police, but the Metro East Crash AssistantanceTeam is still investigating the incident, police said.

Chris St. Peters, general manager of Aspen Waste Services, said the company is conducting its own investigation as well, but could not comment on specifics of the incident.

St. Peters would not release the driver’s name, but said he has not had issues in the past.

St. Peters did offer prayers for the youngster and his family.

“We feel terrible for the family,” St. Peters said. “The driver is affected as well, he’s definitely shook up by the incident.”

Joseph Bustos: 618-239-2451, @JoeBReporter