Operator Crushes Worker with Backhoe Bucket

January 24, 2017

A foreman for the Step It Up Construction Co. was operating a backhoe at a site outside San Antonio, Texas, when he accidently crushed 19-year old Destiny Rodriguez with the vehicle's bucket around 10:30 Monday morning, police say.

Sgt. Roger Pedraza of the Bexar County Sheriff's Office said Rodriguez was inside a dig site and the operator of the backhoe, later identified as a foreman at the site, didn't see her and dropped the bucket on top of her.

Rodriguez was pronounced dead at the scene, and the foreman was hospitalized, "probably for shock," according to Pedraza.

Pedraza said it is unclear if the foreman was intoxicated at the time of the incident.

Rodriguez and her brother both worked for the company, where she had complained earlier about the company's unsafe practices, according to her sister, Rosa Rodriguez. She said her sister was injured at the construction site last week when the same backhoe operator reportedly knocked her leg with the backhoe causing a grapefruit-sized bruise.

The Dallas News reports another worker described the Step It Up backhoe operator as "always careless," and said the operator was always breaking pipes.

Step It Up Construction was cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration twice in 2014 for two "serious" violations. According to records, the total $3,200 fine has been referred to debt collection. 

OSHA is investigating the incident.

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