Pontiac crew begins demolishing trailer with man inside

- A construction crew hired by the city of Pontiac began demolishing a trailer until workers hear a noise coming from the rubble.

It was a man screaming for help. By Wednesday night - it is just dirt now and a wild story of a last second rescue.

The demolition crew working for the city leveled the house at North Sanford Street just blocks from downtown Pontiac.  The crew returned the next day to remove debris. A small 12-foot trailer was also on the property. 

What the crew didn't know?  A 59-year-old homeless man had crawled inside the trailer, which was being dragged by an excavator bucket to be crushed on site.

"They grabbed the trailer with the bucket and dragged it across the yard and didn't get much out of the trailer until they started to compress it," said Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard. "And that's when they were alerted that somebody could hear something and they stopped."

The man suffered cuts and several broken bones but he was alive and is now stable.

Neighbor Susan Burrow has lived on the block for more than 30 years. She said she would occasionally feed the homeless man.

"He was kind of like part of the family," she said. "He would come down and get some food and come over for the holidays. He was just like family."

Susan says she knew the crew was demolishing the trailer just two lots away from her home, but she had no idea the man was on the property at the time. 

Oakland County sheriff deputies had advised the man not to be on the property just a day prior to demolition. It was a very close call, the trailer was being crushed when he yelled out and somehow, his screams could be heard above the noise of the heavy equipment.

"When you are in something like that and it gets crushed, it happens pretty quick," Bouchard said, adding that despite the man's injuries it could have ended much worse.


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