The D.C. government is suspending trash collection Monday to coincide with the funeral of a sanitation worker who died in a work-related accident last week.
The tribute for Johnny L. Harrison is unprecedented, officials said, and gives hundreds of co-workers an opportunity to attend the services. The city will follow a holiday trash collection schedule next week.
Harrison, 38, was killed July 16 when his own truck rolled over him. The accident took place at 10:30 a.m. in the 3400 block of Macomb Street NW, police said. Harrison was outside the truck when it began to roll from a parked position. He apparently fell while chasing after the vehicle and was crushed by it.
"We wanted to do something that was meaningful," said Mary L. Myers, spokeswoman for the D.C. Department of Public Works. "Because it was a tragic loss of someone so well-liked and it happens so rarely, and when this happens to one of us, the ripple effect is very much felt by all of us."
Harrison's funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday at the Imani Temple, 609 Maryland Ave. NE. Public works officials and Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) are expected to attend. Earlier this week, the mayor paused at a news briefing for a moment of silence in honor of Harrison, who he said was a dedicated employee.
Myers said residents in the Northwest neighborhood where Harrison worked have called to express condolences to his family, conveying their appreciation for the work done by the crew chief and his team.
A native Washingtonian, Harrison graduated from Anacostia Senior High School. He attended barbering school and eventually started his own shop, on Good Hope Road SE.
"He's been cutting hair for a long time," said his daughter, LaQuansia Bennett, 20, a senior at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. "That's his passion. He built a lot of relationships at the shop."
He later sold the shop but continued to cut hair at night. He began working seven years ago as a seasonal city employee in leaf removal and then joined the sanitation division.
Harrison, who lived in Northwest Washington, often worked long hours, volunteering for unpopular snow removal shifts, in part to send Bennett and his 15-year-old son, JaQuan Harrison, to college. JaQuan lives with his mother in Upper Marlboro.
"He would work very hard, doing overtime, to support his kids," Bennett said.
James Ivey, Local 2091 president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the union that represents public works employees, noted that Harrison was working overtime when he died, driving his empty truck to relieve a crew of workers whose vehicle was full of trash.
"He was an employee's employee," Ivey said. "He never hesitated to assist and had a lot of friends."
The schedule next week calls for once-weekly supercan trash collection and recycling collections to slide back a day. Neighborhoods that receive twice-weekly trash service will have their first collection one day later, with normal collections Thursday and Friday. Monday's appointments for bulk collections will be rescheduled.
a seven-year city sanitation employee.