Man trapped in trench collapse dies

The construction worker who became trapped Tuesday when a trench collapsed died Thursday.

Local officials received word shortly after noon Thursday of the 26-year-old’s death, according to Todd Wilkin, Hillsboro safety and service director.

On his Facebook page, Marcus Mennett was being remembered by friends with comments such as “You were a great guy and I’m glad to have been able to call you my friend,” and “Life won’t be the same without you. I know you’re in a better place, you had the biggest heart,” among many others.

Mennett was working for Stauffer Site Services, based in Mason, Ohio.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the accident, said Wilkin.

The collapse took place shortly before 3 p.m. Tuesday as the contract crew was working on a storm sewer replacement project on the south side of the new fire station in Hillsboro.

The Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District’s Hillsboro station was dispatched to the scene near the intersection of Beech and North East streets at 2:53 p.m. Upon arrival they found the man almost completely buried by the partial collapse.

Also on the scene were officers from the Hillsboro Police Department, city employees and members of the construction crew, who all worked frantically to free the man.

The victim was without a pulse and was not breathing when he was extricated, according to Branden Jackman, a Paint Creek firefighter and spokesperson who was on the scene.

A medical helicopter was on the scene by that time, but Mennett was transported by ground to Highland District Hospital.

As resuscitation efforts continued, a pulse was detected. Mennett was then transported by Med Flight helicopter to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.

The city announced in early September that it had contracted with Stauffer Site Services to implement a sewer reconstruction project on North East Street, from Main Street to East North Street. The contractor began construction mid-September, with final completion for the project set for Oct. 15.

Wilkin said Thursday that rescue personnel, police and city workers who were on the scene were badly shaken by the accident. He said everyone was offering prayers for the victim’s family.

The Times-Gazette