ST. GEORGE, Utah, Feb. 19, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Officials have identified a St. George man who died after initially being transported to the hospital in critical condition Monday after a trench collapsed on him.
The deceased is 20-year-old Britton Wilson, according to St. George Police Department officials.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has now taken over the investigation into the incident, officials said.
The trench cave-in occurred at 3430 E. 2170 South in the Little Valley area in the southeast part of St. George at approximately 4 p.m.
Construction crews have been working on a major public works project in the area, St. George Fire Department Chief Robert Stoker said.
The workers were taking all appropriate precautions and were using their safety equipment, Stoker said. They had just removed a trench block and put it on the bank of the trench as they prepared to move it to another location.
Wilson then fell back into the trench. It still isn’t clear whether he tripped and fell or the ground gave way under him, Stoker said. One of his coworkers positioned a ladder to help get the man out, but the side of the trench collapsed, trapping the victim.
Other workers at the scene dug Wilson out and performed life-saving measures until fire department first responders arrived and took over.
Stoker said crews then worked to stabilize the trench, which is holding a lot of ground water. He added that everyone needs to be especially careful when near these trenches, because the area has a lot of ground water under normal conditions, and the recent rain and snow have added to it.
Gephardt Daily will update this story as more information becomes available.