Family searches for answers after DPW worker is killed in work accident

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Police are investigating an accident with a garbage truck that killed a city employee. It happened just before 10 a.m. near 35th and Bancroft on the near northeast side. DPW identified the victim as 45-year-old Thomas Welch.

The accident has left Welch’s family trying to figure out what happened.

“It’s tragic. It’s a tragedy,” said Tanji Welch, Thomas’ sister. “We just want some answers, you know?”

Tanji was still trying to grasp the death of her brother hours after he was hit and killed while on his Monday morning trash route. Fox 59 spoke with the family when they arrived on scene.

Together, family members knocked on neighbors’ doors and tried to reconstruct what caused the very truck Welch was riding on to kill him. Witnesses tell Fox 59 it appeared the truck backed into Welch.

“They put these people out here and they don’t really care,” said a relative. “Just as long as the job gets done.”

“The people that I know who he picks up trash for, they love having him pick up their trash,” said Tanji. “He’s not sloppy with it. He works fast and is safe.”

The Department of Public Works says all their workers undergo safety and equipment training. At this point, they don’t believe the driver was out of line.

“We don’t have any reason to believe that anything like that happened but we are investigating internally and working with IMPD,” said Stephanie Sample, a DPW spokesperson.

Welch 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 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’re just trying to understand it,” said Tanji. “Whoever the witness is, we could love for the witness to come forward so we can get a peace of mind.”

20 comments

  • guest

    This is horribly, horribly sad. I believe now that ClanSmokeJaguar will now begin turning this into something racist. That seems to be his only purpose.

  • ClanSmokeJaguar

    >The Department of Public Works says all their workers undergo safety and equipment training

    Translation: It was the worker's fault so you can't sue us.

  • StarlettMiller

    “They put these people out here and they don’t really care,” said a relative. “Just as long as the job gets done.”

    I am POSITIVE there are a lot of other people that would be happy to do the job…

  • 'Thor'

    "“It’s tragic. It’s a tragedy,” said Tanji Welch, Thomas’ sister. “We just want some answers, you know?”

    Lawsuit is coming, it is in vogue.

    • anon

      May not be able to sue for an accident that happens on the job; that falls in Workmen's Comp's jurisdiction, I believe… I could be wrong, though, because the accident resulted in death.

  • southsideguy

    “Whoever the witness is, we could love for the witness to come forward so we can get a peace of mind.”

    and would be glad to share some of this $$$ with when we get our out of court settlement with the city !

  • stuffhappens

    What kind of "answers" do you need. It was a simple accident the driver didn't see him and backed over him. Sad but things do happen, just an accident.

    • anon

      If he was on the driver's right side, he may have been in the driver's blind spot, which would explain why he didn't see him. Nevertheless, condolences to the family; even if they do find answers, it won't bring him back.

  • l'enregistrement

    tyle żarłocznością smoka, co
    bezwzględnością królewskich przybocznych, strzegących l’enregistrement smoczej jamy. Swoistości dotychczasowy różne. Oraz aczkolwiek gratyfikacja w ciągu mroczny żniwiarz
    smok nie dorównywała zwyczajowym, fun.

  • Chris

    You dumbass racists don't realize no one will be able to comment as long as you make these racists comments. Fox59 is not going to allow these type of comments

    • just me

      exactly , and who really CARES what damn color he was , he was someone's family member , someones son , brother , dad , i think it is just down right pitiful that race came into play here , all he was doing was his job , even though it was an accident , that does not make this any easier at all on his family

  • Nick

    w zębach
    dratwy. Owczy Nick zewłok był duży. Zobligowany taki egzystować, żeby pomieścić w samemu wieleset siarki, saletry, węgla drzewnego oraz ze trzy
    funty hufnali. Niemniej zgrzybiałe klechdy zalecały wyłączni.

  • ANON

    MY HEART GOES OUT TO THE FAMILY AND KIDS OF THOMAS WELCH. BUT SOME THINGS SAID ARE TRUE AND SOME THINGS WERE NOT, IF YOU ARE GOING TO GO ON NATIONAL TV TELL THE TRUTH THE WHOLE TRUTH OR DON'T SAY ANYTHING. IT WAS JUST A VERY SAD TERRIBLE ACCIDENT. WHO WAS THE SPOKEPERSON NEVER SEEN HER WHERE WELCH AND HUDSON WORKED, ONLY SEE HER ON TV.

Comments are closed.