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Victim identified in deadly workplace accident

Steve Smith, a truck driver with Hamilton Construction, was killed Saturday morning at the Beltline/Delta Highway interchange.

Posted: Jan 20, 2020 10:33 AM
Updated: Jan 20, 2020 6:37 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- The victim in Saturday's deadly workplace accident at the Beltline/Delta Highway interchange was identified as Stephen Smith of Creswell, a truck driver with Hamilton Construction Company.

Con O'Connor, president of Hamilton, said Smith worked for the company for nearly 10 years.

"He was a great guy, a loving family man, and loved by all in the organization," O'Connor said Monday morning.

O'Connor said Smith's death was the first in company history, which dates back to 1939. He said the company is fully cooperating with Oregon Occupational Safety and Health in its investigation.

Oregon OSHA said it has 180 days to complete the investigation.

A former co-worker of Smith told KEZI Smith was a great man, a role model in the workplace, and a pleasure to be around.

According to Eugene Springfield Fire, Smith was caught between an excavator and a barrier just before 11 a.m. on Saturday. When first responders arrived, he had been freed. He was transported to Riverbend hospital with serious injuries. He later died.

RELATED: Construction on Delta/Beltline interchange halted after workplace injury

ODOT says work will resume on the project at 10 p.m. on Friday.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018 there were nearly 5,000 public workplace deaths with over 1,000 of those being construction-related -- accounting for over 20 percent of workplace fatalities

In Oregon, of 62 public workplace fatalities, 11 were in construction.

OSHA specifies four key dangers they coin the "fatal four" in construction:  falls, electrocution, being struck by an object, or getting caught in or between something.

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