INDIANAPOLIS – Police say a Department of Public Works employee died after being hit by a DPW truck Monday morning.
DPW identified the victim as 45-year-old Thomas Welch. He worked for the city for six years from October 2004 to March 2010. Welch rejoined the department through the Ex-Offender Re-entry Program in December 2012.
The accident happened just before 10 a.m. near 35th and Bancroft on the near northeast side. The initial call came in as a pedestrian struck, according to dispatchers. Welch was being taken to an area hospital and died on the way there.
A witness told Fox 59 he saw the truck backing up when it hit a bump, throwing Welch from the back and rolling over him.
“Something you don’t wanna see, trust me,” that witness said.
Another neighbor, Anita Jones, got the scene before emergency crews arrived. Jones described seeing Welch lying near the truck, with the driver visibly shaken.
“He was hurt and I (could see) it in his eyes,” Jones said.
The driver was taken to the hospital for a blood draw, due to city protocol. Police said they did not believe alcohol had anything to do with the accident.
“We are unspeakably saddened by this tragedy,” said Director of Public Works Lori Miser. “Our City’s Solid Waste Division is a very tight group of committed public servants, and this event has rocked our entire DPW team to its core. We ask that the City of Indianapolis keep Mr. Welch’s loved ones in their thoughts and prayers.”
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard released a statement of condolence. “Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of DPW employee Thomas Welch,” Ballard said. “I ask the residents of our city to join me in keeping Mr. Welch’s loved ones, co-workers and friends in their thoughts and prayers during these difficult times. “
DPW is investigating the accident internally. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is conducting its own investigation into the crash.