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OSHA investigating D.C.-area asphalt roller death

Road accidents are not uncommon here in Maryland or anywhere else. The personal injury or wrongful death that occurs is never a pleasant thought, but it's not really unexpected. What is unexpected, and really hard to imagine, is an accident in which a person is run over by an asphalt roller. That horrendous reality is being investigated now by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The site of the accident was just around the other side of the Beltway. Authorities say a 40-year-old construction worker was standing along a road in Annandale that was being surfaced. Another worker driving the asphalt roller lost control of his machine and ran the co-worker over. The victim was rushed to an area hospital but was pronounced dead on his arrival.

Detectives from a crash reconstruction and homicide unit did respond to the accident site. They found no reason to file criminal charges in the case. Now the matter is in the hands of OSHA investigators. The focus of their probe isn't clear at the time of this entry.

The lack of detail about this case opens the door to all kinds of questions. How is it possible that the operator of a machine as large as an asphalt roller could lose control of the thing? Does such equipment have the capability of moving so fast that the operator or someone else at the site couldn't have sent up an alert and saved the victim?

That it ended in death is deeply sad. We don't know if this man had a family. We presume he did. And they are now left to mourn. There are tough legal issues that may need to be sorted out, as well, which can only increase the emotional strain. This is when the aid of a caring and competent attorney may be essential.

Source: Patch.com, "Woodbridge Man Killed by Asphalt Roller," Lauren Jost, Sept. 12, 2011

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