Man dies in Lakeville trench collapse

Trench collapse kills worker

LAKEVILLE, Minn. – One man is dead after a trench collapse on a construction site in Lakeville on Tuesday.

Police were called to the area of 179th Street West and Idawood Path around 3:45 p.m. on a report of a man in his early 50s trapped in a trench. Lakeville Police and Fire along with the Dakota County Special Operations Team rushed to the scene.

When crews arrived, they found the trench still unstable and continuing to collapse. It made recovering the man very difficult.

Police released more details that made the situation even more heartbreaking.

"The man operating the backhoe, it turns out, was the victim's brother. He tried to rescue him, but was unsuccessful," said Dep. Chief John Kornmann with Lakeville Police Department.

Deputy Chief Kornmann said several people on the construction crew tried to help the man before authorities arrived, but the trench was simply too dangerous and they were not able to get him out before he passed.

He has been identified as 51-year-old Gerald Thompson, of Apple Valley.

"The cause of collapse is unknown at this point, but it's believed to be related to the wet soil consistency here at the site," said Kornmann.

OSHA will be on site Wednesday to assist in the investigation.


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