Sunday, August 19, 2018
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Bryce Gooding is pictured here receiving a Distinguished Young Woman medallion from the 2018 DYW Karisma Keeton. Gooding was also a talent winner (she performed a vocal), fitness and self expression winner as well as scholastic runner-up. Photo by Mike Hanson/Sycamore Photography.

Community offers support for Rumpke driver killed in accident
By Jamie Vinson
Advocate managing editor

Rumpke customers were asked to put a flower on their garbage cans on pick up day following the unexpected death of Rumpke employee David J. Burgess last week.

Burgess, 57, of Mt. Sterling, died Aug. 8 following an accident in Powell County.

According to a release from Kentucky State Police Post 8 in Morehead, the KSP was alerted of a traffic collision on Spout Springs Road in Powell County. The accident reportedly happened just after noon Aug. 8.
Burgess was operating a 2009 International garbage truck when he reportedly veered off the roadway into a ditch, causing the truck to overturn, the KSP said.

Powell County Coroner Hondo Hearne pronounced Burgess dead at the scene.

Molly Yeager Broadwater, corporate communications manager for Rumpke, said Burgess had worked for Rumpke two years.
“He was a well liked team member and we frequently received compliments from his customers for the high level of service he provided.”

Bridgett Biggs, area safety manager for Rumpke, added that “Our team is in mourning. This is a tragic loss. We can’t express the sorrow we are feeling for the loss of a team member. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with our employee’s family and friends.”

The KSP was assisted by the Powell County Sheriff’s Dept. Powell County EMS, Powell County Fire Dept. and Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement. The collision remains under investigation by the Kentucky State Police Post 8 in Morehead, a release said. Spout Springs Road was closed for several hours while the accident was investigated.
Condolences poured in on social media for Burgess following the accident.

“I was on his route. Knew something was wrong, always took care of his route. Sorry to hear that news. Rest in peace fellow driver,” Robert McIntosh said.

Fellow employee Frankie Moore suggested the public help remember Burgess by setting flowers out on pickup day.

“Will do,” said Jamie Ray. “He was our pickup driver. Prayers for family and friends.”

Stefanie Ernest wrote, “I’ve gotten a call from Rumpke in the past telling me my loved one was injured ... today really hit close to home for my family. Praying for the Burgess family and his co-workers. Could my family and friends please reach out with me and let these drivers know how much we appreciate what they do and we know how dangerous their jobs are. A card, note, flowers, anything ... just place it out for them and the Burgess family.”

Wendell Fraley said Burgess was a “Great Christian man and friend that never met a stranger. RIP my friend. Prayers sent for family and friends.”
Tim Welch wrote that Burgess “was more than a coworker, he was a great friend. Don’t think he met anyone who did not like him.”

A graveside service for Burgess was held Monday, Aug. 13, at the Longview Cemetery in Bethel. Visitation was held at Grayson Funeral Home Chapel in Clay City. Burgess is survived by his wife, Donna Burgess of Mt. Sterling; a son, Robert Horne and his wife Rachel of Mt. Sterling; four grandchildren, Lexie Vance of Independence, Va., Kayla Vance of Marion, Va., Abby Horne of Mt. Sterling, Alex Horne of Mt. Sterling; and three sisters, Rita Arenivar of Mt. Sterling, Pat Halsey of Lexington and Sue Shields of Bethel.

Rumpke adjusted its pickup schedule for Monday for customers in Montgomery, Clark, Fayette, Scott, Franklin, Woodford, Bourbon, Nicholas and Estill counties so that workers could attend the funeral for Burgess.

Rumpke lost another employee just days earlier in Ohio. David Evans, 52, a 15-year driver for Rumpke, was reportedly killed July 30 in Middletown as he dumped trash into the back of his truck while working a route. He was hit by a pickup truck, according to media reports.

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