Contractor Killed in Trench Collapse ID'd

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A crane operator died during construction of a movie theater complex in Middletown, Delaware. This is NBC10 Delaware Bureau Chief Tim Furlong's first report from the scene.

    Officials have identified a man killed earlier this week while working on the construction of a sewer line in Delaware.

    The News Journal of Wilmington reports state officials on Tuesday identified the man as 62-year-old Jerry Hurley of Port Deposit, Md.

    Hurley died Monday shortly before noon after the earth collapsed under him while he was working on the construction of a sewer line to serve development near Garden Gate and Spring Arbor Drives in Middletown, Del. Officials say they are currently building a movie theater at the location.

    Hurley was operating an excavator and digging out a trench to put in sewer lines just to the right of the theater. Investigators say he got out of his rig to check what he was doing when the ground suddenly collapsed beneath him, causing him to fall into a 6-foot trench.

    An inspector found Hurley, whose head was above water at the time, and immediately went to get help. When officials returned to the scene, they say the man’s head was covered with mud. By the time crews dug him out of the muddy trench, Hurley was already dead.

    A spokeswoman for the state medical examiner's office, Jill Fredel, says Hurley's death has been ruled an accident.

    Hurley was working for Austin & Bednash, a construction company based in Newark, Del. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating his death. No one answered at the company's office early Wednesday.