ALLENTOWN, PA — A trash hauler who had been joking with three sixth graders was killed Thursday when his truck rolled over him as the terrified youngsters watched, police said.

Louis A. Rivera, 31, of Whitehall Township, died of multiple injuries after he was dragged to the ground, Lehigh County Coroner Wayne Snyder said. Rivera's partner, Jose Mas, was driving the truck slowly along the route as Rivera talked to the youngsters.

Rivera failed to notice the truck approaching from behind.

As Rivera pretended to throw a youngster's knapsack into the truck, he failed to notice the truck had approached him from behind. When he turned to face it, his foot got caught in the rear double set of wheels, Snyder said.