Worker with Indiana contracting company killed after trench collapses

The worker has not been identified by the coroner's office.
Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 4:39 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 30, 2022 at 10:39 AM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Work on a Clarksville sewer project was postponed Tuesday following a trench collapse that killed a worker Monday morning.

The work had just begun when, around 9:20 a.m, 911 calls came flooding in saying a worker was trapped in a six to seven-foot hole after the trench had collapsed up to the man’s chest.

The dispatch center said police got there within minutes of the calls. Neighbors said they saw a dozen police cars, four fire trucks, and two ambulances.

The man was rescued from the trench and taken to the University of Louisville Hospital, where he later died.

Police taped off the scene following the rescue, and Indiana worker safety officials opened a safety inspection following the worker’s death.

An Indiana OSHA spokesperson said the inspection could take up to 6 months.

A Clarksville spokesman said the contractor, Dan Cristiani Excavation, was moving water and sewer lines along McKinley Avenue from behind the houses to the street. Neighbors told WAVE News that construction workers had just gotten to their street last week.

WAVE News reached out to the company, which sent the following statement.

“At the start of this week, we had a tragic accident occur at one of our job sites that resulted in the death of a team member. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and our DC team as we all navigate this heartbreaking tragedy. While we mourn the unexpected loss, we have suspended our trenching operations while the matter is under investigation. We appreciate the community’s support of our Dan Cristiani Excavating team during this trying time.”

Indiana OSHA records showed the company was fined $6,500 for safety violations in 2018 related to excavation and protective equipment requirements.

The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office has not released the worker’s identity.

Editor’s Note: A correction has been made to this article. An Indiana OSHA spokesperson said the inspection could take up to 6 months and not 60 days as originally written.