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Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the lanky 37-year-old nicknamed Bones was an artist and music fan well-loved by his fellow workers."Rodney Page was serving the city he loved when he tragically died a year ago," he said. "His name on Queens East 10 Garage will remind all his colleagues of his sacrifice and his commitment to our city."Page was killed when his truck filled with garbage collided with the rear of a flatbed trailer hauling steel girders on a western spur of the New Jersey Turnpike on Feb. 7 last year, Sanitation officials said. He was transporting the waste to a New Jersey private contractor at the time.Page's wife Ingrid was moved to tears at the unveiling of the plaque bearing his name on the building, located at 130-23 150th Ave."I feel very blessed that my husband is a part of history and will never be forgotten," she said after the ceremony.Page's wife and family joined more than 200 Sanitation workers crowding into the garage to hear Bloomberg and Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty remember the late driver.Bloomberg said Page, the father of a teenage girl, brought an eclectic variety of music each day to the garage, playing Mozart one day, hip hop the next and Motown on another."For nearly five years the garage rocked to the music of Rodney," he said. "He made this place a home away from home."Doherty said in his remarks that the job was seen as fraught with risk. About one worker has died each year in the line of duty over the past five years, a Sanitation spokeswoman said."Sanitation is often considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the country," he said, but despite that Page "had a smile on his face and a song on his lips. And he never complained - he just went out and did it."Shortly after Page's death, legislation was introduced in the City Council that quickly became law extending health insurance coverage to a surviving spouse or partner and children of deceased Sanitation and Corrections Dept. workers. Page's death was cited in Council testimony supporting the legislation. A former co-worker who began working at the garage only months before Page said his lively personality was missed."The place isn't the same without him," Jeffrey Scott, of South Ozone Park said. Reach reporter Adam Pincus by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.
©2006 Community Newspaper Group
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