Worker killed at U.S. 70 bypass site

Staff WriterJune 27, 2007 

— For the second time in as many years, an employee of a Tennessee-based road construction company was killed while working on a local highway.

A Tennessee man was killed just outside Clayton on Tuesday after a truck he was riding in backed up too far, turned over and rolled down an embankment, according to the Johnston County Sheriff's Office.

"The cab kind of mashed in when it rolled over," said Johnston sheriff's Lt. Tommy Beasley.

Beasley did not know whether the man was driving.

Clayton firefighters freed the man from the cab; he was taken to Johnston Memorial Hospital in Smithfield, where he was pronounced dead, Beasley said.

The sheriff's office did not release the man's name pending notification of his family, Johnston Sheriff Steve Bizzell said.

The man worked for Pozzolanic Contracting & Supply Co. of Knoxville. N.C. Occupational Safety & Health Division investigators are trying to determine whether Pozzolanic contributed to the accident by violating safety rules.

In August 2005, safety officials found that Pozzolanic had violated state regulations after one of its employees was killed at U.S. 1 and Tryon Road in Cary. The Occupational Safety & Health Division fined the company $2,100 after it determined heavy equipment at the work site did not have proper alarms to signal when it was going in reverse, said Neal O'Briant, a spokesman for the N.C. Department of Labor.

Pozzolanic officials were unavailable for comment, a company spokeswoman said.

Tuesday's accident occurred about 12:17 p.m. The construction crew was working on a stretch of the new U.S. 70 bypass near Ranch Road, authorities reported.

Investigators with several state agencies, including the Occupational Safety & Health Division, the Department of Transportation and the Division of Motor Vehicles, visited the site Tuesday afternoon to help the sheriff's office investigate.

O'Briant said the Occupational Safety & Health Division investigation could take a couple of months to complete.

Staff writer Thomasi McDonald can be reached at 829-4533 or thomasi.mcdonald@ newsobserver.com.

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