St. Pete's sanitation director dies after suffering medical episode

St. Petersburg's sanitation director, Benjamin Shirley (left), died on Thursday after suffering a medical episode while he was driving his personal vehicle, according to St. Petersburg police. He was 68, and spent 48 of those years working for the city. Here he poses for a photo with Mayor Rick Kriseman (right) in February 2017. [City of St. Petersburg]
St. Petersburg's sanitation director, Benjamin Shirley (left), died on Thursday after suffering a medical episode while he was driving his personal vehicle, according to St. Petersburg police. He was 68, and spent 48 of those years working for the city. Here he poses for a photo with Mayor Rick Kriseman (right) in February 2017. [City of St. Petersburg]
Published November 8 2018
Updated November 8 2018

ST. PETERSBURG — The city’s sanitation director died on Thursday after suffering a medical episode while he was driving his personal vehicle, according to St. Petersburg police.

Benjamin Shirley was pronounced dead at a hospital, police said. He was 68, and spent 48 of those years working for the city.

The incident took place shortly after 4 p.m. Shirley was driving his pick-up truck south on 31st Street S when he veered off the road near the 300 block and struck several trees and a power pole wire, police said. No other vehicles were involved.

Police said 31st Street S is closed to traffic between Third and Fifth Avenues S while Duke Energy crews fix the downed pole.

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