Officials ID construction worker killed in trench collapse in Alpine

A construction worker in Alpine died on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, after a trench collapsed and left him unable to breath. Photo: Lone Peak Fire District

ALPINE, Utah, April 25, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — The Lone Peak Fire District has identified a construction worker killed on the job when a trench collapsed outside a home under construction in Alpine.

The victim was 53-year-old Luis Moran.

Chief Reed Thompson, Lone Peak Fire District, said crews were called to the scene, at 705 Highridge Circle, just after 1 p.m. Wednesday, and told a man, since identified as Moran, had been caught in a trench collapse that buried him up to his neck in dirt.

“We arrived in less than 5 minutes, and the individual was not conscious, not breathing,” Thompson told Gephardt Daily. “He (Moran) had dirt up to his waist.

“A worker was trying to dig him out with a shovel, but we determined there was no viability of life, and pulled the other worker out for his own safety.”

The trench was part of a project to install a pool behind the unoccupied residence, Thompson said. The trench varied in depth from about 4 to 10 feet. Moran was in the deep area.

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“The weight of the debris caused him not to be able to breath,” Thompson said, noting that the initial impact likely also contributed to injuries. The body of Moran was recovered after about two hours, and transported to the medical examiner’s office, Thompson said.

“Due to the labor intensive process, rescue technicians from neighboring agencies were also dispatched as part of the Utah County Technical Rescue Team,” the Lone Peak Fire District statement said.

“We’d like to thank the personnel from American Fork, Lehi, Pleasant Grove, and Orem for assisting us in this operation. Our hearts go out to the family and those affected by this tragedy.”

OSHA also responded to the scene.

Thompson asked that anyone digging a trench remember that shoring saves lives. Dirt can be held back by a number of shoring systems available to construction companies and do-it-yourselfers.

Gephardt Daily will have more information as it becomes available.

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