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January 27, 2023

Gonzales man dies after garbage truck backs into him

GONZALES — A 39-year-old Gonzales man has died after a garbage truck backed into him at the Johnson Canyon Landfill on Jan. 11.

According to media reports, the incident happened at 10:15 a.m. at the facility, located at 31400 Johnson Canyon Road in Gonzales.

California Highway Patrol said it is being treated as an “industrial incident” and not a crash, since it occurred on landfill property. No arrests have been made, CHP said.

The man killed was identified on social media as Gonzales resident James “Jay” Martinez. Online comments said he was “loved and known by many in Gonzales and will be missed.”

Salinas Valley Recycles and Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority, which operates the landfill, confirmed the incident on Jan. 18.

“It is with profound sadness and a heavy heart that we share the news that a fatality occurred at Johnson Canyon Landfill on Wednesday, January 11, 2023,” SVR/SVSWA stated on social media. “Our love goes out to James Martinez’s family, friends, and all our staff at this very difficult time. We ask for grace and respect for our staff and all those involved in this very tragic incident.”

Staff Report
A staff member edited this provided article.


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