Tow truck driver trapped under pickup dies

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. - A tow truck driver was killed Monday night when he became trapped under the front tire of a pickup truck he towed to a home in Middleburg.

Napoleon Ballard III, of Keystone Heights, a driver for the RJR Towing Company of Jacksonville, transported the truck to a home on Sams Lane about 7 p.m., according to Clay County deputies.

As Ballard was unloading the truck from the flatbed tow truck, he tried to stop the pickup from rolling down and into a shed by opening the driver door, reaching for the brake, deputies said. While doing so, he was knocked to the ground and trapped under the front, driver's side tire.

The truck's rear bumper struck the shed, causing it to stop. The truck's owner got the help of a neighbor and responding deputies in an effort to jack up the truck and extricate Ballard, who was pulled from under the truck once it was lifted.

Ballard died at the scene.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was notified and also responded to the scene.

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