Construction worker rescued from trenchHardhat and rescue workers saved him from further injury BY PAM STEVENS | EDITOR Emergency crews rushed to the scene of a construction accident last Tuesday, Sept. 16 around 1:30 p.m. near Highway 204 on 81st Ave. NE.
Chris Clark, an employee working for Plats Plus, Inc., a Marysville company, had to be rescued from a 30-foot trench after being struck in the head by a 3/4 inch steel clevis. The clevis is the loop that attaches to a chain used to pull a steel trench box.
“The trench box was being pulled out of the 30 foot deep trench,” Dave Lingenfelter, Deputy Chief for the Lake Stevens Fire District said. “As they were pulling on it the chain broke and struck him in the head.”
Dawn Steele, a Resident Inspector for Gray & Osborne, the company contracted with the Lake Stevens Sewer District, said that Clark was wearing a hardhat when he was hit.
“The clevis hit him in the hardhat,” she said. “It was attached to a chain and that piece of chain hit him in the face.”
Clark was in and out of consciousness, however, when emergency crews arrived he was coherent. Over 30 emergency vehicles arrived to assist at the scene with firefighters specially trained for these types of accidents.
“The people involved were not just firefighters, they’ve been trained for this type of rescue,” Lingenfelter said. “They were able to descend directly into the trench to extricate him.”
The ladder truck backed into the scene and extended into the trench where they lowered a basket to pull Clark out.
Mary Melton, a neighbor living on 81st Ave. NE, noticed aid cars and a helicopter flying overhead.
“I suspected that it was some sort of construction accident because of where the aid cars were congregated,” Melton said.
Lake Stevens Sewer District has been laying a new 36-inch pipe in the ground on 81st Ave. NE.
Clark was taken to Providence Medical Center and was released that evening with a severe headache and a swollen face. He called in to work the next day apologizing that he would be late.
“He called his foreman while we were in a meeting. The foreman told him to take the rest of the week off,” Steele said. “He’s a really hard worker who wants to exceed in whatever he does.”
Because it was a work related accident, Labor and Industries is investigating.
Steve Pierce from Washington State’s Labor and Industries, said that the investigation could take three to six months to complete.