Los Angeles sanitation vehicle strikes and kills person believed to have been homeless

A green Los Angeles sanitation truck empties a blue recycling bin on a residential street
A person was struck and killed by a Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation vehicle Wednesday morning in Sherman Oaks, according to police. Above, a sanitation truck in 2022.
(Matthew Ballinger / Los Angeles Times)

A person who was believed to be homeless was struck and killed by a Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation vehicle Wednesday morning in Sherman Oaks, according to police.

Los Angeles police responded around 11:45 a.m. to a report of a pedestrian who had been hit by a vehicle in the 15000 block of Burbank Boulevard, a residential area near the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area, Los Angeles Police Department officials said.

The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene, and the driver of the vehicle remained at the site and cooperated with investigators.


The truck was identified as a trash collection vehicle that was in service at the time.

“This is a tragic incident and our hearts go out to the loved ones of the individual, as well as to our driver, who is currently in crisis counseling,” the Los Angeles Department of Public Works, which oversees the sanitation bureau, wrote in an emailed statement. “This is an open investigation, and we will provide more information when we can.”

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Jan. 27, 2023

Mayor Karen Bass and Councilmember Nithya Raman both identified the vehicle as a city sanitation truck and suggested in written statements that the victim was homeless.

“Unhoused Angelenos are dying on our streets every day,” Bass said. “Our work to bring unhoused Angelenos inside is a matter of life or death — which is why our office is treating this crisis like the emergency that it is.”

Raman, who represents Sherman Oaks on the City Council, said Wednesday’s death “comes on the heels of the passing of three individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness in the area in recent days, due to a range of causes about which we are still awaiting complete details.”

“These are lives that mattered and we express our sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of these individuals,” Raman said.

The death also comes less than two months after a sanitation truck struck and killed a pedestrian in San Pedro, KABC-TV Channel 7 reported.


The incident remains under investigation by the LAPD.