WSFA 12 News Exclusive: Sanitation Worker Recovers after Major Accident

Ronald Taggart, 28, after an accident on the job (March 2008).
Ronald Taggart, 28, after an accident on the job (March 2008).

Montgomery, Al. (WSFA) -- The last time we saw Ronald Taggart, 28, was in a stretcher, on his way to the hospital after an accident on the job.

Taggart was crushed against a utility pole as the garbage truck he was riding backed down a road.

Nowadays, he's at home, using a walker or lying in bed--resting between physical therapy sessions.

The memories from that day, however, are still fresh in his mind.

"When they first started squishing me, it happened in slow motion, and I just yelled," Taggart explained.

"When I yelled for [the driver] to stop, he got out and looked at what had happened."

A lot had happened.

Soon after the accident, Taggart went into a brief coma.

Doctors worked to fix his shattered pelvis, crushed intestines, and other major injuries.

For someone who had only worked 8 months for the City's Sanitation Department, the accident dealt a lifetime of pain.

"Sometimes, when I see a garbage truck, [. . .] it's hard for me to look at it," Taggart said.

The recovery hasn't been easy.

Painful therapy aside, scheduling mishaps meant no home nurses some days and late ambulance rides to doctor's appointments.

Taggart says he hasn't received one phone call from the Sanitation Department, wishing him well.

"I just don't like the fact that I was put in the dog house because I got injured," Taggart said.

Still, as he slowly makes his way to a full recovery, Taggart urges other workers to realize the risks that go along with the job.

"The people on the back of [those trucks] just don't know how dangerous their job is until they're injured," he said.

NOTE: The Risk Manager for the City of Montgomery says he's working with Taggart to make his recovery as smooth as possible.

It's going to take some time, however.  Doctors told Taggart he'll have to wait about two more years before he's fully healed.

Reporter: Cody Holyoke