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NEW VIDEO: Bainbridge neighbors help save woman who fell into garbage truck

Posted at 6:01 PM, Jun 21, 2024

  • An act of faith led neighbors to flag a dumpster truck driver down to save a woman calling for help.
  • Employees in the Shotwell Street shopping center say they heard screaming coming from a dumpster Thursday.
  • Watch the story to see more first hand footage of the events that led to neighbors, police and first responders saving a woman's life.


A woman in South Georgia is safe after nearly being crushed in a garbage truck.

WTXL reporter AJ Douglas met some of the quick-thinking neighbors who heard that woman's cries for help.

We also checked to see what's being done to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Screams for help.

That's what Debbie Chavers said she heard Thursday outside Chucks Liquor Store where she works.

"If we hadn't screamed and hollered she might have been squished,” said Debbie Chavers, a cashier at Chuck's Liquor Store.  

She and other neighbors could hear that woman screaming from inside a dumpster truck.

This surveillance video shows employees stopping the driver to alert him that there may be someone inside.

"The dumpster came back in and low and behold there was a lady in there,”  Chavers.

Bainbridge Public Safety fire and police departments quickly responded to Captain D's parking lot on Shotwell Street after neighbors like Chavers sounded the alarm.

"The hole that she fell in was small. It was so small you can barely get something in there to get her out with,” said Chavers.

Chavers said after 45 minutes the woman was rescued and taken to the hospital.

Following the rescue, WTXL contacted the City of Bainbridge to see what's being done to prevent this dangerous situation from happening again.

In a written statement, the city of Bainbridge said they have plans for additional preventative methods reading in part quote,

"Per our City Engineer, going forward when our sanitation truck drivers approach a dumpster with a closed lid, they will attempt to alert someone by either honking the horn or rattling the dumpster slightly."

It's a simple step toward a safer community.

Preventing the need for rescues like the one Chavers helped start.

"It was awful... I wouldn't want anybody to go through that,” said Chavers. 

Police are still waiting to talk to the unidentified woman to learn more about the circumstances that put her in a position that could have cost her life.