NAUGATUCK — A Naugatuck man was run over by a dump truck and killed Monday in a construction-site accident in West Hartford.
Rene J. Otis, 50, of 40 Idleview Drive, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Otis was working for Black & Boucher of Watertown on a road resurfacing project on South Street between New Britain Avenue and Shield Street in West Hartford, according to police.
The accident occurred at 7:10 a.m. when an asphalt milling machine was backing up in the westernmost lane of South Street, followed by a street sweeper.
The dump truck, owned by Bob Pabst Land Clearing & Trucking Inc., of Woodbury, was backing up behind the sweeper as the sweeper turned off the road into a driveway.
The dump truck continued to back up, running over Otis who was on foot working with the milling machine, police said.
Pabst said his son was driving the truck but declined Tuesday to give his account of the accident. He said he had talked to the family to express his condolences.
Otis' brother John Otis lives in Southbury and the rest of his family, including his mother and three other siblings, live out of state.
Described by neighbors as friendly, outgoing and caring, Otis lived alone in a small home with his two cats, Sally and Alice. Shirley Chapman and Eleanor Marroni, who lived close by, said they cared for Otis' cats when he was working out of state and were stopping in to feed them Tuesday evening.
"His two cats were the love of his life," Chapman said.
Marroni said Otis was a "true gentleman" and would often mow his neighbors' lawns to be helpful.
The accident is under investigation by Officer Emanuele Birritteri of the West Hartford Police Department traffic division. The department is asking anyone who may have seen the accident to call (860) 523-2007.
Originally appeared 6/25/2008 in the Republican-American©