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Fatal accident with excavator kills man

A 57-year-old man from Marshall, Michigan passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 20 after being pinned by an excavator and sustaining life-threatening injuries from the fatal accident. The victim was working with crews from Mead Bros. Excavating on the site of the Malletts Creek restoration project when the incident occurred.

The Washtenaw County parks and recreations director reported that a briefing regarding the fatal accident was made to the county's water resources commissioner who is overseeing the project. He reported having no personal working history with the contractor. The director reported that it was shortly after 3:00 p.m. that he received information regarding the fact that the victim did not survive. After removing a rock lodged between the tracks of the excavator, the director reported that the operator apparently did not see the victim and drove right over him.

The victim was dug out of the mud from underneath the excavator immediately after Ann Arbor Fire Department rescue crews arrived on scene, according to the Battalion Chief. Due to the weight of the machine, he reported that the victim was pushed two feet into the mud. Further explanation reveals the firefighters had to dig the victim out of the dirt by hand in order to prevent further injuries during the rescue.

Six additional rescue workers were called to the scene of the accident to join the team of three firefighters already present. The rescuers had to carry the victim through thick and thorny brush prior to carrying him up a hill that held an approximate 60-degree grade.

The scene was thoroughly investigated by the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office, as well as the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Source Title: AnnArbor.com "Man dies after being pinned by excavator at County Farm Park," Paula Gardner, Dec. 20, 2011

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