Two Killed in Separate CTL, Dump Truck Accidents in Work Zones

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A site inspector in New York was hit by a dump truck, and a dump truck driver was hit by a compact track loader in Iowa last week.
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A construction site inspector and a dump truck driver were killed last week in two separate struck-by incidents in construction zones.

Struck by dump truck

On June 7, Brett Decker, 45, of Middleport, New York, was inspecting a repaving project in the Buffalo area when he was hit by a dump truck that was backing up.

The incident occurred at 5:38 a.m. in a work zone on I-90 in Pembroke, where the right lane was closed for milling and repaving, according to New York State Police.

The dump truck driver was contracted with Diamond Concrete and was backing up when Decker, who worked for Patriot Engineering & Surveying, stepped into the milled right lane behind the truck and was hit, police said. Decker was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash remains under investigation, but troopers have said impairment was not a factor.

Decker is survived by his wife and three children.

Struck by compact track loader

Two days later on June 9, Ronald Dean Preece, 61, was outside his truck adjusting a dump gate on a utility project in Vinton, Iowa, when a compact track loader backed into him and pinned him to the truck, according to police.  

The incident occurred at about 3 p.m. on a sewer expansion project for the city of Vinton. While Preece was adjusting the chain at the left rear of the truck, the CTL operator was leveling gravel. The operator did not see Preece, and Preece was pinned between the CTL and his truck, police said. Preece later died of his injuries at a hospital.  

The accident remains under investigation by the Vinton Police Department and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Preece was a dump truck driver for the company that was contracted to do the utility work, Arends Excavating of Waterloo.

How to stay safe

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that 75% of struck-by fatalities involve heavy equipment.

Here are some recommendations from the agency on avoiding accidents:

  • Wear seat belts that meet OSHA standards, except on equipment that is designed only for standup operation, or that has no rollover protective structure.
  • Check vehicles before each shift to assure that all parts and accessories are in safe operating condition.
  • Do not drive a vehicle in reverse gear with an obstructed rear view, unless it has an audible reverse alarm, or another worker signals that it is safe.
  • Drive vehicles or equipment only on roadways or grades that are safely constructed and maintained.
  • Make sure that you and all other personnel are in the clear before using dumping or lifting devices.
  • Lower or block bulldozer and scraper blades, end-loader buckets, dump bodies, etc., when not in use, and leave all controls in neutral position.
  • Set parking brakes when vehicles and equipment are parked and chock the wheels if they are on an incline.
  • All vehicles must have adequate braking systems and other safety devices.
  • Haulage vehicles that are loaded by cranes, power shovels, loaders, etc., must have a cab shield or canopy that protects the driver from falling materials.
  • Do not exceed a vehicle's rated load or lift capacity.
  • Do not carry personnel unless there is a safe place to ride.
  • Use traffic signs, barricades or flaggers when construction takes place near public roadways.
  • Workers must be highly visible in all levels of light. Warning clothing, such as red or orange vests, are required; and if worn for night work, must be of reflective material.