By Shane Mahoney
The Haldimand Press
CAYUGA—Around 9 a.m. on Tuesday, October 2, 2018, 68-year-old Gord Brown of Cayuga was waiting for the recycling truck outside his home on Kerr Street. There had been a misunderstanding about his recycling not being collected and Brown was hoping to speak with the driver. In the confusion, the truck pulled away, running him over.
“He was lucky the driver had to stop at the next house,” said neighbour and close friend Tom Macleod, who was present in the aftermath. “He was folded in half under the truck, his hand was totally crushed.”
Brown was taken to Hamilton General Hospital, where doctors amputated his leg. He was then sent to the Haldimand War Memorial Hospital in Dunnville to recover before being discharged, not yet having a wheelchair or walker, to Anson Place Care Centre in Hagersville. Despite the trauma, Brown is trying to stay positive.
“Put it this way, I lost a leg and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it. I could get pissed off, but it’s not gonna bring her back. I ain’t gonna be angry, it won’t do me a damn bit of good.”
When he was asked how his recovery is going, Brown answered, “It’s coming so-so, I guess. I have bad days and good days. I found out it’s gonna take four months to get my prosthetic leg; they gotta go through the insurance companies and they’ve gotta go through the government.”
The claim against Modern Landfill, the US-based company that runs Haldimand’s recycling program, is still in preliminary stages and Brown hasn’t had direct contact with them.
The Press reached out for a response to the incident and received the following statement: “We at Modern have taken this incident very seriously and wish Mr. Brown well in his recovery. It’s Modern’s policy not to comment on ongoing matters.”
Brown isn’t angry at Modern Landfill: “I felt sorry for the driver,” he said.
Macleod said, “He (Brown) wasn’t angry at the world, not going out looking to sue everyone, he just wanted it to be safe for others. He’s calling on the recycling companies to put rear-view mirrors on their fenders. Those trucks are out collecting when kids are on their way to school and they should be equipped like school buses.”
Brown added, “Summer’s coming, little guys are playing along the side of the road all the time. I would love to see mirrors on the trucks.”
Many family and friends who are helping Brown through his recovery feel his insurance company isn’t moving fast enough. So far Brown has had a ramp installed and now has an electric wheelchair, but his life will never be the same again.
“Somebody should be getting off their butt,” said Macleod. “He’s still in an old age home when he’s got his house. Like, are they waiting for him to deteriorate enough that they can just let it go? I just wish people would picture themselves or their own husband or wife in this position. He just wants his life back.”
“He can’t cut his grass,” Macleod continued. “My son is gonna have to cut the grass. He can’t shovel snow, he’s got a snow blower, how’s he gonna use that?” Brown quipped back, “Well, I could put it on the front of my chair and push it around.”
As of yet, there’s no timeline for when renovations on Brown’s home will be complete.