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Construction accident leaves worker dead

We were saddened to learn of a construction accident that took the life of a young worker late last week.

It was reported that the 20-year-old is thought to have died instantly when a large piece of construction equipment fell over on top of him. The incident was nearly 200 miles east of New York City.

The accident was at a West York, Pennsylvania, site where a former mill is being converted into a large apartment complex.

The coroner's office said the man's head was crushed when a large piece of equipment known as a Pettibone lift toppled over.

The gear has a telescoping platform extension on it. The worker was apparently operating the lift from its cab when it became unstable.

"It started toppling or weaving back and forth," a police spokesperson said.

The worker apparently tried to run from the equipment as it rocked, but was unable to get away fast enough.

Officials said they aren't yet sure why the equipment began to sway.

One worker who spoke to a media outlet said he wasn't sure if the wind caused the Pettibone lift to sway or if another worker had tried to move it.

"It just rolled over," the worker said.

The man killed had been employed by a roofing subcontractor on the apartment project; he was from New Jersey.

An investigator from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was on the scene after the late morning accident.

We wish the young worker's family the best as they try to cope with their tremendous loss.

Source: York Dispatch: "Coroner's office identifies man killed at West York construction site," Elizabeth Evans, Nov. 11, 2011

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