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1 Dead, 1 Injured In Allentown Trench Collapse

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A construction worker was killed and another seriously injured after a trench collapsed in Allentown Tuesday morning.

Police say the two construction workers were replacing conduit wires under the bridge in the 300 block of West Linden Street when the concrete sidewalk above them collapsed at about 8:30 a.m.

The men, who worked for JD Eckman, Inc., were struck by the debris and trapped in the six-foot deep trench.

Investigators say Michael Wilson, 20, was crushed and died at the scene. Wilson’s body remained trapped under the concrete for several hours. His body was pulled from the rubble just after 12:30 p.m.

The second victim, Otis Smother III, 21, was rescued after an hour and a half and was transported to an area hospital for treatment of a shoulder injury. He is recovering from his injuries and his family says he is expected to be ok.

The parents of Michael Wilson, of Coatesville, returned to the construction site Tuesday evening where their son lost his life, a life his family says Michael lived to the fullest.

“He was a good kid, he really loved life, his family,” said Michael’s father, Ricky Wilson.

Michael died, according to his parents, with his best friend by his side. Michael’s family said the two had known each other since 7th grade.

“They got their jobs together, on the same day,” said Shirley Wilson, Michael’s mother. “They were together until the end.”

Surprisingly Michael’s family is not angry. In fact they seemed calm when they spoke to Eyewitness News, feet away from where their son was killed.

“Don’t mistake our calm demeanor, that’s the Lord holding us up,” said Ricky Wilson.

Mark Eckman, president of JD Eckman, says the day has been a difficult one.

The Pennsylvania Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating a cause.

Reported By: Jericka Duncan, CBS 3

  • j. moore

    My thoughts and prayers are with the men and their families.

  • Kenny

    What safety precautions were in place? All trenchwork that I am familiar with requires walls, bridging, etc to keep workers safe while in the trench in case of collapse. OSHA will investigate it and get to the bottom of it either way. God bless the victims and families involved..

  • Alexa

    The bridge was just built and it dont look bad on the copper camera but i saw the destruction with my own eyes this morning. My thought go out the men who are hurt and trapped and their families….Also with the brave who are trying to save them.. My two cousins are on the rescue team at the scene…becareful we love you!

    <3 Lex

  • r.brown

    my prayers are with those men and their families.

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