NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A 19-year-old Metro Public Works employee died after he was run over by a garbage truck in downtown Nashville Tuesday night.
It happened around 11 p.m. near the intersection of Commerce Street and Fifth Avenue.
Police told News 2 Chandler Harris, who had only been working with the department for a few months, was riding on the back of the truck with another employee as they were backing down an alley.
Harris fell off the truck after getting pinned against a wall. He was run over before the other employee could get the driver’s attention. When the driver pulled forward, he was run over a second time.
The 19-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.
Metro Public Works said via Twitter their hearts and prayers are with Harris’ family and that the investigation is ongoing.
The city is calling Harris’ death a tragedy.
“No other way to describe it. Nothing like this has ever happened in the department,” said spokesman Billy Fields.
“It’s a shock to all of us. It’s been certainly heavy on the department and the family is just devastated,” he added. “It’s an awful situation and I Know the city is grieving for them.”
Late Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Karl Dean released the following statement on his death:
Our hearts go out to Chandler Harris’s family and friends, including his father, another dedicated Metro employee. Chandler died tragically while serving our city. We value the work he did, and we grieve the loss of his life.
Harris’ father works for the Office of Emergency Management and is a former News 2 employee.
Friends told News 2 he was excited about his new job, following in his father’s footsteps and working for the city.
One friend told News 2 in a statement, “Chandler was a really amazing guy. He always had a smile and he was there for anybody and everybody.”
Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.