UPDATE: Construction worker killed in ditch collapse in South Pittsburg, friends respond
SOUTH PITTSBURG, TN (WRCB) -
South Pittsburg police are investigating the death of a construction worker.
It happened around 4:50 p.m. Wednesday in the 100 block of Old Jasper Road.
Officers said Brad Hargis was working on a sewer line for the South Pittsburg Housing Authority when the ditch collapsed and trapped him. He suffered extensive injuries and later died at Parkridge West Hospital.
Hargis works for SDT Contractors, Inc. and was hired to work on the project, not a city employee. It started in June.
Family friends said Hargis was a father of two.
"Brad was a good kid and just 28 years old he was in the prime of his life," Marian Wynne said.
Wynne and her husband, Terry Wynne said they visited the construction site to visit Hargis Wednesday afternoon, but tragic news followed about an hour after they left.
"We're coming back from Jasper and seen the road blocked off and the helicopter out here and we knew it had to be Brad," Wynne said.
"I got upset and cried about it and all because I'm close to these people," Terry Wynne said.
The couple said after their visit to the site they had some safety concerns.
"The hole was not sheered up and earlier that day. They had busted a main water main so that dirt was wet," Wynne said.
"I looked in that ditch and I even said to him I wouldn't get in that ditch without some type of safety device," Terry Wynne said. "Usually they put metal platforms on the sides or something to make sure it doesn't collapse."
Lisa Bradford, the executive director for the South Pittsburg Housing Authority, released the following statement on Hargis' death:
"There was an accident yesterday. The proper authorities are conducting their investigation. I have no further information at this time."
The SDT site supervisor would not comment due to the ongoing investigation.
TOSHA tells Channel 3 an investigator was sent to the scene Thursday morning to determine the cause of the workplace fatality, and that there is no record of any past violations for SDT Contractor, Inc.
The last time a Tennessee worker was killed during a trench collapse was in Gatlinburg in 2012.
The funeral for Hargis will be held Sunday, Oct. 9 from 9 am to 3 p.m. at Tate Funeral Home.
Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this developing story.