Crime

Construction worker is killed in trench collapse on Todds Road

Worker dies in trench collapse

A construction worker died Wednesday after a trench collapsed on Todds Road near Hays Boulevard.
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A construction worker died Wednesday after a trench collapsed on Todds Road near Hays Boulevard.

A construction worker was killed Wednesday when the trench he was working in collapsed next to Todds Road near Hays Boulevard.

Samuel Tyler Williams, 22, of Frenchburg was completely covered by dirt and gravel in the 16-foot trench when emergency workers arrived about 9:40 a.m., Assistant Fire Chief Harold Hoskins said. Dozens of firefighters worked to try to free him.

Williams, a married father of three, died of asphyxiation, Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn said. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday in Frankfort at the state medical examiner’s Office. Ginn said autopsies are standard in work-related deaths.

Fire department spokeswoman Jessica Bowman said the investigation would be turned over to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which arrived about 11: 45 a.m. OSHA investigates workplace deaths.

Hoskins said investigators would look at the soil and the structure of the trench to ensure that another collapse wouldn’t happen.

“This is a very complicated operation,” he said.

The trench appeared to be between a retaining wall and the pavement of Todds Road.

The work is part of a state transportation project to widen Todds Road.

This phase includes widening the road, and adding curbs and other improvements on Todds Road from the entrance of the Andover Forest neighborhood to just past Interstate 75. Construction began in October 2015 on the $9.9 million road widening project.

Natasha Lacy, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 7 office, said Kentucky Transportation officials were on the scene immediately after the accident.

“The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet extends our sincere thoughts and prayers to the family, friends and coworkers of the employee,” Lacy said. “Safety personnel from KYTC District 7 office in Lexington were on the scene immediately after being notified. A preliminary investigation is under way.”

Lacy said state OSHA officials were overseeing the investigation. Transportation officials did not release the name of the contractor employing Williams.

Michael McKay: 859-231-1324, @hlpublicsafety

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