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Death at construction site may spark six-month investigation

News reports indicate that a 54-year--old man from Atlanta has been killed on a construction site in South Walton County, Florida. The construction accident involved a 2005 John Deere L22 Loader that was operated by a 25--year-old worker at the site. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the incident occurred around 6:45 a.m. on an access drive to Topsail Apartments. Officials have not yet released the identity of the deceased because his next-of--kin has not yet been made aware of the situation.

Reports indicate that the 54-year--old man may have been working as a carpenter for the $23 million apartment complex project when he was run over by a front-end loader. Officials believe that the man walked in front of the heavy equipment and was struck and killed. Rescue workers from the South Walton Fire District pronounced him dead on the scene.

Construction on the apartment complex has been ongoing since October 2012. The CEO of the company heading the project said that safety precautions were being taken before the incident, and more policies may be put in place to ensure that no one else is hurt at the site. He said that it seems the incident was a freak accident. He added that he was unsure if work would be halted due to the man's untimely death.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was contacted about the matter. According to OSHA officials, an inspector was ready to begin the investigation surrounding the accident. Estimates indicate that the investigation could take as long as six months, leaving many people uncertain on who to blame. If the company is held responsible due to safety violations, loved ones of the deceased may be able to file a wrongful death claim. Such claims are often successful with the assistance of a legal professional. A lawyer can give potential claimants the insights they need in order to determine if they should file a lawsuit.

Source: NWF Daily News, "Man killed by front-end loader Wednesday morning at work site," Angel McCurdy, April 10, 2013

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