Aug. 23, 2006 — A 39-year-old heavy equipment operator was killed Tuesday when a hillside at the East End Plaza construction site collapsed, crushing the cab of the track hoe he was operating.
The victim was identified Wednesday by Dr. Francisco Landron, the district medical examiner, as David James.
According to Landron, who performed an autopsy Wednesday, James "died almost immediately after the accident" of "multiple injuries to the head and body, all a result of the blunt-force trauma."
Landron also said the autopsy revealed excessive organ damage to the heart, lungs and liver.
Reports from the scene indicated workers were jackhammering rocks on the site, which is located across from the Red Hook Ferry Dock on St. Thomas' East End, when the hill crumbled at around 11:30 a.m.
Police spokeswoman Shawna Richards said Wednesday that workers at the scene used another track hoe to clear the area around the landslide so that emergency workers could reach the victim.
James was an employee of Apex Construction, a subcontractor doing excavation work on the project, which is slated to be a 40,000-square-foot retail and office complex and a two-tiered parking area.
An investigation is under way by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.