A 23-year-old soil engineer and recent Old Dominion University graduate died on the job when an oversized off-road dump truck backed over his utility task vehicle (UTV). The fatal construction site accident happened in Stafford County, Virginia (VA), on the afternoon of May 4, 2022.

Sheriff’s Office personnel responded to calls about the crash at 200 Cetreport Parkway shortly before 4 pm. An Amazon fulfillment facility is being built at the location off I-95 and north of Fredericksburg.

News reports describe the UTV as “heavily damaged” and note medical first responders pronounced the young engineer dead. A person who knew the deceased victim well described the young engineer as “an Eagle Scout, would have celebrated his 24th birthday” on the day following the on-the-job accident.

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OSHA has joined the Sheriff’s Office in investigating the crash. This incident in Stafford County occurring within days of an almost identical construction site crash in Suffolk, VA, highlights the need to identify and resolve problems that put construction workers at risk from backing trucks.

On April 26, 2002, a dump truck backed over another piece of heavy equipment in the 1900 block of Laycock Lane in Suffolk. The person in the smaller vehicle survived but went to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital with serious injuries.

Filing Workers’ Compensation Claims Does Not Always Prevent Filing Lawsuits

The victims of the construction site dump truck crashes in Stafford County and Suffolk clearly have grounds for applying for workers’ comp benefits. A family member would need to file on behalf of the engineer who tragically lost his life, but workers’ comp covers both work-related injuries and deaths.

The circumstance of the dump truck crashes could also allow personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. When a third party negligently or recklessly causes a worksite accident, the victim can sue that third party while also seeking workers’ comp benefits. For instance, an employee of a different company would be a third party, and several companies often send workers to a construction site.

Succeeding with a third-party lawsuit requires proving negligence or recklessness. In Stafford, findings from OSHA and Sheriff’s Office investigators will goo far in establishing cause and liability. For now, consulting with a caring and experienced Virginia wrongful death attorney will help the engineer’s family understand and exercise their legal rights.

EJL