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By Grant Welker
GateHouse News Service
Posted Sep 04, 2008 @ 11:24 PM

Westport -
A worker for a trash disposal service was airlifted to a Boston hospital Thursday with a severe leg injury after a 17-year-old driver crashed into him on American Legion Highway, apparently not seeing the truck or the worker.
The injured man's leg apparently had to be amputated below the knee, according to one of his co-workers at ABC Trash Disposal of New Bedford.
The driver, Jon Tavares, crashed into the worker, who was standing behind a dump truck picking up trash, at about 7 a.m. almost one mile east of Route 88. Tavares, who lives at 930 American Legion Highway, was charged with driving to endanger and failing to use care in stopping. He wasn't wearing a seat belt and was also injured, police said.
Tavares hit the windshield and suffered lacerations that could require surgery, police said. He was released from the hospital Thursday afternoon.
No skid marks could be seen in the road, police said, and Tavares "appeared to have not seen" the truck. A witness driving behind Tavares told police she did see Tavares brake but that sun glare - which could have been a factor early in the morning - was not a problem for her.
The worker's name is not being released, but police said he is 43 years old. He was driven by ambulance to the high school athletic fields, where he was airlifted to Brigham and Women's Hospital.
The truck stopped in the eastbound lane with a strobe light flashing at the top back of the truck, but no hazard lights on, police said. Police spokesman Det. Jeff Majewski said that that may have been a factor in the crash.
The truck driver stayed in the vehicle while the other worker loaded trash into the truck. Tavares' 1995 Honda Civic sustained heavy front-end damage. American Legion Highway was blocked off around the accident in both directions for about an hour.
"Regretfully, the worker was standing directly behind the truck when it was hit," Majewski said, "and resulted in a terrible outcome."
The ABC Trash Disposal worker has been at the company for several months and has children, said co-owner Mike Camara. He was still in intensive care as of Thursday night, he said.
"We're praying for him," Camara said. He thanked the woman driving behind Tavares who he said put a tourniquet around the worker's leg right away. "I believe she may have saved his life."
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