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Hempstead sanitation worker dies after being injured on duty, officials say

Jean Macdonald was "an exemplary employee," Town Supervisor Laura Gillen said.

An "exemplary" Town of Hempstead worker standing on the back of a sanitation truck died from injuries to his chest and abdomen suffered when the vehicle backed up toward a parked truck on Wednesday, officials said.

"It is with profound sadness we report that longtime Town of Hempstead Sanitation worker Jean Macdonald was killed in a tragic accident yesterday while working on his route in Wantagh," Town Supervisor Laura Gillen said in a statement Thursday.

Macdonald, 60, of Freeport, had worked for the town since 2006. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the supervisor and Nassau County police.  

A police spokesman said no conclusions have been reached about the cause of death, which occurred early Wednesday afternoon as the workers were removing leaves on Bunker Avenue.

Macdonald was standing on the rear passenger's side step as the sanitation truck approached a parked landscaper's truck, police said. Another sanitation worker was standing on the driver's side step. Police said there were no other injuries.

The sanitation truck is undergoing safety checks, the police said. 

"An exemplary employee, Jean was a hard-working and dedicated member of the Sanitation Department," Gillen said. "We offer our most sincere condolences to his family during this most difficult time."

The accident is under investigation and a "comprehensive review of all Hempstead Town Sanitation Department safety policies and procedures" is being done, Gillen said. 

In 2014, a Town of Hempstead employee was killed when two town sanitation trucks collided at an intersection in East Meadow, town officials said at the time. The worker was identified as Jarred Newallo, 25, of Hempstead.

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