Richard Ray

Worker Fatally Struck by Excavator Bucket When Operator’s Clothing Snags on Lever: Police

A 62-year-old construction worker was struck and killed by the bucket of an excavator in northwest Indiana Wednesday when the clothing of the machine’s operator became stuck on a lever, police said.

Police responded to the site near Lakeshore Drive and Pennsylvania Avenue in Hobart where workers from a local company were replacing sewer lines. Three workers, one operating the excavator, another inside a hole and a third on the ground were on the scene, police said. The worker in the excavator had turned to talk to someone before the accident occurred, police said.

“The operator of the excavator turned back to situate himself in the seat when a piece of his clothing caught a lever, which controlled the bucket on the excavator,” Hobart police said in a news release. “The bucket, which was positioned inside of the hole, moved forward and pinned the crew member against the wall."

The man struck by the bucket was pronounced dead on the scene by the Lake County Coroner's Office.

He was from South Haven, police said, and an autopsy was scheduled to determine a manner of death.

The worker operating the excavator did not display any signs of intoxication or impairment, police said.

The dead worker’s family had not yet been notified and an investigation was ongoing.

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