OSHA opens investigation into fatal Warren County trench collapse

Updated: Dec. 29, 2017 at 12:49 PM EST
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MORROW, OH (FOX19) - The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an investigation into Thursday's fatal Warren County trench collapse.

Zachary Hess, 25, of Mason, died Thursday when a trench collapsed at 5559 Anne Marie Dr. in Morrow.

Warren County officials said the construction worker was buried up to his head when a 30 ft. trench, which was near a new home foundation, collapsed.

"It's a process that you think you're there and then all of the sudden something else collapses and I hate to use the word collapse -- but fills in around. So, you have to start excavating again to try to safely get this young man out. So, we're hoping that we can have him to take him up to the crime lab for a full medical exam shortly," Chief Investigator Doyle Burke said Thursday.

Officials said it took crews about 11 hours to recover his body after he was buried.

The sheriff's office said he worked with JK Excavating.

Compliance officers were at the scene Friday talking to potential witnesses and the employer, trying to figure out what happened and whether the employer was utilizing proper trenching equipment to prevent such incidents.

The investigation could take up to six months.

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