A Kentucky construction worker, who was employed by ATS Construction, was killed after the trench he was working in collapsed, burying him under 16-feet of dirt and gravel, according to the Lexington Herald Leader. Just shortly before 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, a 22-year-old married father of three, Samuel Tyler Williams of Lexington, was working in a trench “next to Todds Road and Hays Boulevard” when it suddenly collapsed.
Sources say when co-workers realized that Williams had been buried alive under 16-feet of dirt and gravel, they tried desperately to get him out until firefighters arrived, but it was to no avail. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
— Steve Butera (@SteveButeraWLEX) May 4, 2016
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, who arrived at the construction site at approximately 11:45 a.m., has launched an investigation following the death of the construction worker to “look at the soil and the structure of the trench to ensure that another collapse wouldn’t happen.”
One man, Ray Carter, who lives near the area said that “it wasn’t pretty, especially when they made them get out of the ditch. The guys kind of threw their shovels down like they were mad.”
After the construction worker was killed when the trench collapsed, the Kentucky Transportation officials immediately made their way to the scene. According to Natasha Lacy, who is the spokeswoman for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 7 office, said that “the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet extends our sincere thoughts and prayers to the family, friends and coworkers of the employee.”
“Safety personnel from KYTC District 7 office in Lexington were on the scene immediately after being notified. A preliminary investigation is under way.”
A relative, who asked to remain anonymous, stated that the family was stunned after learning the construction worker was killed after the trench collapsed. The relative added that she “just prayed that when I got the call, it was a nightmare” that she couldn’t wake up from.
“He was the kindest, sweetest human being, and he loved his family and friends. He will be missed dearly.”
Tim Hacker, who is “the Director of Pupil Personnel and Director of Transportation for Menifee County Schools,” stated that “There are many, many people who are going to miss him. Everybody loved Tyler, he was just a good all-American kid.”
When Hacker first learned of the construction worker’s death, he was stunned and in disbelief, stating that he had his “phone and it pops up that a worker had gotten killed in a trench in Lexington.”
“In a small town, where everyone knows everyone, that devastation is just shared between all of the community.”
— Officer Don (@OfficerDon1) May 4, 2016
Hacker remembers coaching Williams in little league basketball, saying “he always had that red fiery hair and those freckles. And he would always be out there like a little spitfire trying to get that ball. So, it was a joy watching him and being his coach.”
“Right now prayers are what would be appreciated.”
Tyler’s sister-in-law, Kendra Williams, added that he was “the most selfless person I’ve ever met. He worked hard every day. He was so wise beyond his years. He would put anyone in front of himself and he did.”
Although Williams left behind three children following the work-related accident, Williams stated that they “are just going to make sure that they [his children] know that he would put anybody in front of him. He was a godly man. He was a Christian. We just want to make sure that they know everything about him because everything was good.”
According to WKYT, an autopsy is scheduled for Thursday in Frankfort as a requirement for all work-related deaths. However, Fayette county coroner Gary Ginn stated that the construction workers’ cause of death was asphyxiation.
Funeral arrangements for construction worker Samuel Tyler Williams, who lost his life after a trench collapsed, are pending. If anyone would like to donate to his family, “you can visit any Fifth Third Bank and donate to the fund: FBO Samuel Tyler Williams Family.”
[Image via Shutterstock]