Victoria man found dead in waste collection truck likely seeking warmth: police

A Victoria man whose body was discovered in a recycling truck was likely homeless and trying to keep warm when he died, according to Central Saanich police.

Police are not publicly identifying the man, who was in his 20s.

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His body was discovered about 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 12, when a recycling truck returned to a waste-collection facility on Keating Cross Road in Central Saanich, said Sgt. Paul Brailey.

“When it tipped its load of product, which was mainly cardboard, there was a deceased male in his 20s in the back of the vehicle,” Brailey said.

The truck emptied about six dumpsters in downtown Victoria between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m., working in the area of the Inner Harbour, View Towers and the 1300-block of Blanshard Street.

Working with Central Saanich police and Victoria police, the B.C. Coroners Service determined the man’s identity and notified his next of kin.

The Coroners Service is investigating the death, which is not considered suspicious. “We want to determine how he got there and how he came to his death,” said spokesman Andy Watson.

A cause of death has not yet been determined. 

Watson confirmed the Coroners Service is also investigating the 2018 death of a man in his 40s who died under similar circumstances. Lloyd Soluk, 47, also known as Jo, was killed on Aug. 1, 2018, when the recycling bin he was sleeping in was emptied into a recycling truck and its contents were compacted.

The waste collection facility is operated by Waste Connections of Canada.

A statement released by the company’s district manager, Michael Tripp, called the death a tragedy for the man and his family, and said counselling services have been provided to all employees involved.

“Our driver is currently taking time off to recover, but will be returning to work shortly,” the statement says. “Our hearts go out to all who were impacted by this tragedy.”

regan-elliott@timescolonist.com

Note to readers: A previous version of this story said a cause of death had been determined; however, the B.C. Coroners Service says its investigation is still underway.

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