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Man escapes trash compactor after falling asleep in dumpster

By Jonathan Radford, jradford@wcyb.com
Published On: Apr 02 2014 07:47:41 AM CDT
Updated On: Apr 02 2014 04:35:53 PM CDT
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. -

A man in Greeneville is lucky to be alive after being picked up and dumped into a trash truck. Greeneville police say the man apparently fell asleep inside the dumpster before the trash was emptied overnight.

Kirk Gossack starts his garbage route in the dark around 3 a.m. in the morning. "I've been driving this truck for about seven years," Gossack told us.

But Wednesday morning when he emptied the dumpster behind the Monterrey Mexican Restaurant in Greeneville, he picked up something he never expected.

Police say the driver made several more stops afterwards, and even compacted the trash, before realizing someone was beating on the inside wall of the trash truck. "I got to my next stop, dumped it, and I heard people yelling, whistling, and banging on my truck. I didn't see anybody, so I got out and walked around the truck, but still didn't see anyone. Then I got to the driver's side," said Gossack.

Gossack says when he looked up from where he was standing, he saw Daniel McAffry trapped in the trash bin. "All I saw was a guy up there holding on with his head poked out of the top, saying, 'Help get me out of here.' He said, 'I was just looking for something to eat, a man's gotta eat,'" said Gossack.

Firefighters say they used a ladder to help get McAffry out. He was checked out at a nearby hospital and only suffered minor injuries.

"When I found out it kind of scared me. If I had not have heard him or noticed him, it could have been a much different outcome by the time I would have emptied my load with about 30 or 40 more containers in there," said Gossack.

Authorities in Greeneville tell News 5 McAffry is homeless; he was likely sleeping inside the dumpster.

Police say he told the firefighters who freed him that he'd 'never sleep there again.'