The woman who was struck and killed by a Rumpke trash truck in Brookville on Monday morning helped a citywide clean-up effort in Dayton on Saturday, speaking to hundreds of volunteers who gathered after the work was finished.
Cortney M. Jonker, 27, of Brookville, died of injuries she suffered after being struck by a Rumpke truck that was backing up at a crosswalk at Westbrook Road and Western Avenue in Brookville.
Jonker was among more than 1,000 volunteers who helped during Saturday’s Living City Project. Church groups, college students and others came together to pick up trash on vacant lots in dozens of neighborhoods around Dayton.
After the work was done at noon, hundreds of volunteers gathered at the Revival Center Ministries on Oakridge Drive to eat and celebrate the occasion. Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley attended the celebration along with other local dignitaries.
Jonker was one of several people, including City Commissioner Chris Shaw, who took a turn on the microphone to talk about her volunteer experience and to testify for her faith.
Jonker told the crowd she attends Sinclair Community College and “I also have developmental disabilities.”
“I’d like to say no matter what your difference is, whether you have a disability, racial differences, ethnicities, we can all come together under God and under Jesus to make a difference,” Jonker said, and the crowd responded with cheers and applause.
Jonker also talked about her experience picking up trash and what was found.
“I was kind of surprised by how much stuff we found ... It was like eye-opening, how much difference we’re making, how cleaner it is,” Jonker said.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the incident that took Jonker’s life. The initial investigation indicated the truck was backing up and its lights and backing alarm were in working order, according to the patrol.
It’s not clear yet who may have been at fault.
Rumpke released a statement, saying they are working with the authorities to determine all the details surrounding the incident.
“Safety is very important to us, and we won’t rest until we determine what happened here today,” Rumpke Safety Manager Randy Broadright said in the prepared statement.
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