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Man killed in plow accident remembered by neighbors

By Ryan Hughes, Reporter, RHughes@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 04 2014 04:32:07 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 05 2014 05:40:08 PM CST

A Reading man killed after being hit by a city plow truck was identified Tuesday.

READING, Pa. -

A Reading man killed after being hit by a city plow truck was identified Tuesday.

Gilbert Birdsey, 71, was struck in Center City Monday about four blocks from his home.

An autopsy on Birdsey was conducted Tuesday afternoon.

The Berks County coroner's office says Birdsey died of head and chest injuries.

Police have not released a lot of information, and the mayor's office said they have been advised by legal counsel not to comment.

"It's sad to know because he was a customer to us," said Sandy Sandobal, who works at El Puente Mexican Store.

Sandobal was stunned to learn Birdsey, one of her regular customers, was tragically killed.

"He loved to buy the bottles of Pepsi in the glass bottle because he said it tasted better," said Sandobal.

Birdsey walked to the El Puente Mexican Store almost every day. He lived alone across the street with his cats in the 400 block of North Sixth Street in Reading.

"He's a nice man, he's a very nice man," said Rafael, his next door neighbor.

Neighbors told 69 News Birdsey was always friendly. They last saw him outside sweeping off his and his neighbors' steps from a coating of snow, but tragedy struck later Monday morning just before 11:30 a.m.

A city plow truck was making a left turn onto Penn Street when the truck struck Birdsey, said police.

He was rushed to Reading Hospital where he later died.

Residents said what makes that area so dangerous is the heavy amount of traffic.

"You got to pay attention no matter where you're walking. There's a lot of traffic and buses too," said Christopher Klemmer, who lives near the victim.

The district attorney said his office's accident reconstruction team responded, and they're trying to determine if charges are warranted.

The investigation continues.