Video: Dumpster napper rescued from garbage truck

updated 5/8/2007 1:01:49 PM ET 2007-05-08T17:01:49

A homeless man who had fallen asleep in a trash bin to escape the rain was dumped into a garbage truck and survived being crushed repeatedly before a worker saw him.

Robert Baswell, 44, said he screamed as the load of trash was crushed against his body at least seven times and was sure he would die. He tried to cushion one blow from the truck’s compressor with a dead opossum, he said.

“I screamed one last breath,” Baswell told the Palm Beach Post. A trash collector finally saw him as he tossed in a box and called for help.

Firefighters spent almost a half hour pulling pieces of trash out by hand to free the man.

“I want to find this gentleman and have him buy my lottery tickets because he is one lucky dude,” said West Palm Beach Fire Rescue spokesman Phil Kaplan.

Baswell, who had bedded down in a brush-filled trash bin Sunday night to get out of the rain, suffered broken legs and ribs.

“I’m so happy to be here, as bad as I’m hurt,” he said.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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