Bert Jessmon and his father worked for a private trash collection company. They were on a route with Jessmon’s father driving and Bert Jessmon riding on the back of the truck. The Jessmons stopped on a rural two-lane highway and Bert Jessmon left the truck and began walking to pick up a trash can. At the same time, a W.A. Kendall & Co. wood chipper truck stopped behind the trash truck.
Elizabeth Smiley, who was traveling in the same lane, came upon the truck and stopped behind them. When Smiley confirmed that the oncoming lane was clear, she began passing the vehicles on the left. As she was nearly passed the chipper truck, the driver pulled out, striking her car. The Smiley car then spun clockwise striking and pinning Bert Jessmon between the car’s driver side and the rear of the garbage truck.
Bert Jessmon sustained severe crush injuries to both of his legs and his right leg was nearly severed above the knee. His femoral artery was severed and he began bleeding profusely. A bystander with Army medical experience applied a tourniquet while emergency responders were called.