“I thought to myself climbing into that dumpster 'I hope leaving that door open is going to be good enough,'” Jamie Bryant said seated on a stool on a friend's porch. “That's not how it worked out. I woke up to the hydraulic sound of a piston ... and a big blade coming at me, pushing towards the back of a Casella Waste trash truck.”
“I started to fight for my life,” the 41-year-old said.
“I thought for sure that I was going to die,” he added later.
Bryant was picked up behind the Bangor Rehabilitation and Nursing Center on Texas Avenue. The Casella trash truck then made three other stops.
In an attempt to escape, Bryant reached up and grabbed the piston, burning his hand.
“Somehow I got a little up over it and that's when I felt my foot get crushed up in between the trash and everything, part of this foot and this leg,” he said of his right leg. “That may have been when my femur got broke.”
He said doctors at Eastern Maine Medical Center told him the top of his femur has a hairline crack in it.
“I remember falling this way down when the blade went back out and it compacted back up against me again, and that's when I felt the cracking of my ribs,” Bryant said.
He said he has a broken rib and two cracked ribs.
“I just started screaming, 'Somebody help me. Somebody help. Help, help' I kept screaming and pounding and pounding on the side of that truck,” he recalled.
Friends told him that employees at Westgate Manor heard his cries for help.
“There was a couple of people that heard me screaming and hollering in the back of that truck that brought the attention to that driver,” Bryant said.
The Casella driver “opened up the emergency hatch door on the side of the tank. The first words out of his mouth were, 'How in the hell did you end up in here?'” he said. “I said, 'I was trying to get some sleep in the dumpster.'”
After finding out that Bryant was stuck inside the trash truck and injured, the driver “held my hand and he just said, 'Hang in there. The EMTs are on the way. It will be OK, they're on their way buddy,'” he said.
Bryant said that he told his story to WVII/WFVX to bring awareness about the homeless problem in Bangor.