Friday, August 4, 2017

A construction worker at the O'Neill Group-Dutton development site was killed after a concrete and dirt wall collapsed onto him in Poughkeepsie, NY

The cause of death for the construction worker who died following an accident at a Dutchess Avenue development site was “crush and blunt force injuries,” according to Dutchess County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Dennis Chute.

Officials have not released the name of the victim. Chute said the autopsy was conducted Aug. 4, the day after the construction worker died and another was injured due to the collapse of a retaining wall at the O’Neill Group-Dutton site.

Fire Chief Mark Johnson said the wall, which had been holding in “thousands of yards of dirt for the project,” collapsed and fell onto the worker. The other worker with him was able to escape the collapse but was hit by falling material.

He was transported to a local hospital to be treated for a broken hand and possible broken leg, Johnson said.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the fatal wall collapse but might not be able to release the cause of the accident until next year, according to U.S. Department of Labor officials.

OSHA has up to six months to complete the investigation, at which point O’Neill Group Dutton will have the opportunity to respond.

Details about the investigation or the determined cause of the collapse will not be released until the the investigation’s complete, according to James Lily, a spokesman with the Labor Department.

The O’Neill Group-Dutton site is a 15-acre former lumber yard that’s being redeveloped into a mix of commercial spaces, apartments and a public trail.


A construction worker at
 the One Dutchess Avenue development site was killed after a concrete and dirt wall collapsed Thursday afternoon.

The Poughkeepsie city Building Department closed operations at the O'Neill Group-Dutton site as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigates the fatality, said Poughkeepsie Fire Chief Mark Johnson.

"It's just a very sad day, and my sympathy and heart goes out to the young man and his family," said Finbar O'Neill, director of operations for the development project.

First responders arrived around 3:49 p.m. and found one worker trapped under a concrete and dirt wall and a second man knocked to the ground by the collapse.

The regional collapse team, which includes the Poughkeepsie, Arlington and LaGrange fire departments, was called to the scene to rescue the first man.

About 35 minutes into the operation, first responders found the man's location and determined that there was an "extreme danger of a second collapse," Johnson said.

Shortly after finding the worker, medics with the MidHudson Regional Hospital determined that he was dead. The regional collapse team converted their efforts into a recovery operation, and the body was recovered around 5:16 p.m.

The Dutchess County Medical Examiner's Office took custody of the body, and Mobile Life Support Services transported the second man to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries.

The 15-acre former lumber yard is being redeveloped into a mix of commercial space and apartments, as well as a public trail. Work in the city has begun, but not on the 3.5 acres in the town of Poughkeepsie, where officials have declined to rezone the property.

Construction has started at A.C. Dutton Co. lumberyard site. Ricky Flores/lohud 


POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. >> A construction worker was killed Thursday when a retaining wall collapsed at the former Dutton Lumber site on the bank of the Hudson River.

The 15-acre site is being developed into a mix of apartments and commercial space.

The body of the man, who was not publicly identified by authorities, was removed from underneath the large blocks by city firefighters and turned over to the Dutchess County Medical Examiner’s Office.

A second worker was taken to a local hospital with a possible broken arm and broken leg.

City detectives interviewed employees of the construction company and took photos of the site.