ANDERSON — After spending more than three weeks in the hospital following being struck by a person driving a truck, Larry VanNess, known lovingly as "The Can Man" in Anderson has died, according to a social media post by his caregiver.
Landers posted to Facebook: "While we mourn the loss of our dear friend, we also must remember him as the happy and loving man that he became and celebrate the life he led, the difficulties he overcame and the accomplishments that he achieved right up to the time of his accident."
VanNess was hospitalized on October 2 after being hit by a truck. Anderson Police tell WRTV the investigation into the crash is complete and no charges will be filed.
The Can Man was known throughout Anderson and Madison County for his giving nature.
For 19 years, VanNess had been collecting pop tabs around Anderson. He donated nearly 27 million tabs to the Ronald McDonald House – raising nearly $12,500.
“He made the tabs his life mission,” Landers said.
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Indiana shared the following statement on their Facebook page:
The staff and volunteers at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Indiana are heartbroken at the news of the passing of Larry "The Can Man" VanNess. He was a good friend of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Indiana for nearly 20 years. He was our most well-known and beloved pop tab collector and advocate, having collected more than 27 million tabs, every single one of which he personally counted by hand. Larry may not have had children of his own, but he cared deeply about the mission of RMHCCIN and the people it served and often shared that collecting pop tabs gave him purpose. We are heartbroken over the loss of our very near and dear friend. Our team is working hard to find a way to properly memorialize his memory and will share more once those details are finalized.
Funeral arrangements will be announced on his Facebook page once they are made.