Crews recover man's body from collapsed trench; OSHA reports violations

Posted at 12:36 PM, Dec 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-16 19:13:02-05

Fire crews recovered a man's body from a collapsed trench Thursday night.

Officials said the worker, later identified as Donald Meyer, 33, was stuck almost 10 feet underground near Coleman and Fall Meadow Lane.

A GoFundMe account has been setup to help pay for Meyer's funeral services. 

RELATED | Father buried in trench leaves behind young son

Belton Fire Chief Norman Larkey said dry earth could have played a role. 

The Kansas City, Missouri Fire Department helped with the recovery effort.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, was on scene. According to OSHA, preliminary information indicates there was no shoring of the trench walls or a trench box to protect against a collapse.

OSHA standards require protective systems on trenches deeper than five feet.

The 41 Action News Investigators confirmed Meyer worked for Arrow Plumbing out of Blue Springs.

OSHA reports a crew was digging a trench from a house in Belton to a sewer line with a backhoe when the trench collapsed. Arrow Plumbing was the subcontractor for the job.

An employee said Rick Smith is the owner of Arrow Plumbing but was unavailable to talk.      

Ward Development of Grain Valley was the general contractor and manager for the job.

OSHA has opened inspections with both companies.

The Arrow Plumbing employee said OSHA has already been in contact with the company.

The 41 Action News Investigators also went to Ward Development to get comment, but the company is closed on Fridays.

An OSHA spokeswoman said neither company has any past history of safety violations.

OSHA has now opened investigations into trench collapses resulting in 24 deaths across the country since the beginning of this year.



Follow 41 Action News on Twitter:

Follow @41ActionNews

Like 41 Action News on Facebook: