Man Dies In Donation Bin

By: Brian Johnson Email
By: Brian Johnson Email
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It's a horrible memory from a night Deandre Jackson never wants to relive. His friend was coming over, saw the man kicking against the bin, and immediately alerted Jackson.

"When I go to see, I see a couple little last kicks, like it was his last kicks, I'm like 'Sir are you ok? Are you ok?," said Deandre Jackson.

Jackson immediately called 911. He said the box hung the man--clamping down on his head and neck.

"That's when, he just stopped moving," said Jackson. He stopped moving period. That's when I thought to myself, 'Oh my god, I think this guy just passed away in front of me."

There was nothing he could do. There was no way the man could have gotten himself out, and the man's weight stopped anyone from opening the bin lid back up.

When first responders arrived it was too late and the man was dead. Firefighters had to cut open the back of the box to get his body free.

"Again, we haven't reached the next-to-kin, so we won't be releasing a name right now," said Officer Robert Merritt of the Lansing Police Department. "At this point it looks like it's an accidental death and it's not suspicious in nature."

Police say the victim is a 53-year-old Lansing man. They say it's the first death related to a donation box.

However it's not the first problem. The bin has been there since 2011, and people have dumped off couches, and trash at the exact same box. Rather than the non-profit, the store said it had to pay to have the junk removed.

Now that someone has died, the store manager wants the bin gone.

"I don't want to see that happen again. It's just too much for me," said Deanna Servis, the manager at Kent Deluxe Cleaners. "What if that was a little kid? It's scary."

Both the store manager and her son expressed sympathy for the loss the victim's family has experienced.

"That's kind of hard, just to watch something like that," said Jackson. "My prayers go out to his family and friends."

The non-profit that operates the bin is based in Michigan-- it's called One World Center. (See the link above.)

We reached out to speak with a company representative, but no one returned our phone call or email.

WILX did a story involving this same donation bin a year and a half ago. You can read that special report at the link above.


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