‘I thought I was going to be a mashed potato’: Hillsborough Co. sanitation worker saves child nearly crushed in garbage truck

Hillsborough County

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Hillsborough County sanitation worker is being called a hero after jumping into action to save a little boy from being crushed.

On Tuesday, 7-year-old Elias Quezada climbed into a garbage can outside his Hillsborough County home.

Quezada was hiding when the Waste Connections truck scooped up the trash can and dumped it inside the garbage truck.

“In a minute he went out and the next thing I hear is the sound of the truck and a guy screaming,” his grandmother Carmen Salazar said.

“I got picked up and thrown, to where I was going to be a mashed potato,” Quezada said.

Luckily driver Waldo Fidele had his eyes on the surveillance camera, something he said he’s trained to do with every single can.

“Looking on camera I see something drop,” said Fidele said.

“I was thinking this might be the end for me,” Quezada said.

But the quick-thinking driver jumped into action. He shut off the blade, and called 911.

“I come outside. I see him, he seemed happy, happy! I said ok, you’re ok now,” said Fidele.

Elias and his grandmother are grateful for Fidele and his quick actions that saved his life.

“I said thank you,” Quezada said.

“I’m very thankful that he was looking at that camera at that time and he acted so fast because otherwise, he wouldn’t be here,” said Salazar.

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