Johnston County man killed in trench cave-in is identified

From staff reportsNovember 23, 2012 

— The Johnston County man killed Tuesday when the trench where he was working caved in has been identified as Luis Javier Martinez.

Martinez, 39, was working in a four-foot trench at the edge of a series of soccer fields on N.C. State’s centennial campus, NCSU police Lt. David Kelly reported this week.

Martinez, buried under three feet of dirt, died while working for J.F. Wilkerson Contracting Co. of Morrisville. The company’s employees were installing a water line for the city, Kelly said. Other workers were with him at the time and called for help at about 12:30 p.m.

Martinez’s body was freed at about 2:18 p.m., Kelly said. The trench is at the edge of an intramural soccer field at the corner of Main Campus and Achievement drives.

Officials with the N.C. Occupational Health and Safety Division will determine whether J.F. Wilkerson followed safety standards and utilized equipment that could have prevented the worker’s death, said Neal O’Briant, a spokesman for the state Department of Labor. The process will likely take three to four months, O’Briant said.

In 2007, state labor inspectors found five serious violations at J.F. Wilkerson, including the absence of a “trench box,” designed to protect workers from cave-ins.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service