Man expected to recover following injuries sustained in a trench collapse

Jan 29, 2024, 6:31 PM | Updated: Jan 30, 2024, 11:21 am

TAYLOR, Weber County — A construction worker’s quick decision at a site in unincorporated Weber County is being credited with saving a man buried alive in a trench collapse Monday.

“If he hadn’t of done what he did, the outcome could have been much different,” said Capt. T.J. Reeder with Weber Fire District’s Heavy Rescue Station 66.

The trench collapse happened just before 10 a.m. near 3700 Alder Court, in the new Winston Park subdivision in Taylor, just west of Interstate 15.

According to the builder, UpDwell Homes, the two employees were working on sewer lines for a new home, when one of them went into the trench to check something. Moments later, the walls came down sliding down – burying him alive.

A matter of seconds

With only seconds to spare, Reeder says the man’s co-worker used the backside of the bucket on the backhoe to push the mud out of the trench, which exposed the man’s airway. He then pulled the man to higher ground.

“He was able to make a good sound decision and save this guy’s life,” Reeder said.

When Weber Fire District’s Heavy Rescue crew arrived on scene, they took over the final moments of the rescue, pulling the man from the trench.

“We were able to get down really quick and get him wrapped in a blanket,” Reeder said.

Man suffered serious injuries

The man, described as in his late 20s, was taken to a hospital with serious injuries but is expected to be OK.

“Couldn’t ask for a better outcome,” Reeder said.

According to OSHA, a trench over 4 feet deep requires protections. The one involved in Monday’s accident had no protection in place, and the depth appeared to be at least 4 feet deep, in some areas it appeared even deeper, but several inches of water filled the hole.

“A good takeaway from this situation is anything that if four feet or deeper requires some sort of trench protection,” said Reeder.

On site Monday, UpDwell Homes told KSL TV that they’re thankful their employee is OK and grateful for the quick actions of the employee in the backhoe. They say they’ll be looking into what happened in the trench and the decisions made on site Monday.

In an accident like this, OSHA will typically conduct its own investigation as well.

A *GoFundMe was set up by the family of the man to help them cover medical expenses. The fundraiser description details an emergency surgery the man had and states he is now entering the healing process.

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the GoFundMe account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk. 

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