Darrell McCammack Killed In Centralia Trench Collapse Accident

Darrell McCammack, of Brownstone, Died In Centralia Trench Collapse Accident By East Kerr Street and North Poplar

Darrell McCammack Killed In Centralia Trench Collapse Accident

CENTRALIA, ILLINOIS (October 2, 2022) – A worker from Brownstone identified as Darrell McCammack, 54, died in a Centralia trench collapse accident.

Marion County officials are saying that the accident took place on Monday morning. Darrell McCammack was inside of the trench when the walls suddenly gave way.

A second worker identified as Ethan Hawkins also became partially covered, but was able to be freed. Sadly, Darrell McCammack was severely injured in the accident and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Centralia Fire Department was told that the trench was being dug to put in place a North Elm Street sewer system. A full investigation into the Centralia trench collapse remains ongoing at this time.

Liability In Centralia Trench Collapse Accidents

Trench collapses may seem like freak occurrences, but these accidents are actually very common. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Trench collapses are rarely survivable but completely preventable. Injuries and deaths associated with trenches continue to happen. From 2003 to 2017 there were a total of 373 trenching fatalities, with more than 80% of them in the construction industry.” There are a number of steps that construction companies should take to help prevent trench collapses.

  • Trenches should always be dug a minimum of 5 feet from utility lines.
  • An evaluation of the soil should be performed to determine its stability.
  • If the trench is 5 feet or deeper, a protective system should be set up.
  • A trench emergency plan should be developed.

The vast majority of trench collapses are caused by trench walls that are not properly shored up. When a worker is injured or killed on the job, they or their family will typically have recourse through a worker’s compensation claim. Worker’s compensation is based on a no-fault insurance plan. There is no need for an injured worker or their family to demonstrate liability for an accident. Depending on the facts of any case, an injured worker may also have recourse through a third party liability claim.

A third party liability claim may be possible when an entity separate from a worker’s employer caused an accident. For example, the general contractor responsible for a construction site could be liable for a trench collapse. They may have failed to adequately test the soil for stability. It is also possible that they failed to properly shore up  trench walls 5 feet or deeper. There are a number of steps that should be taken after any trench collapse.

  • Work orders should be examined.
  • Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
  • Medical records should be preserved.
  • A thorough, independent investigation should be conducted.

It can be difficult to know where to begin  after any workplace accident. It is important to remember that accident victims do have rights. There are a number of options available. It is very important that evidence is properly preserved after any trench collapse. Evidence will be crucial in determining fault for any workplace accident.

Investigating A Centralia Trench Collapse Accident

We at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates extend our deepest condolences to the family of Darrell McCammack. It is our sincere hope that Ethan Hawkins will be able to make a full recovery if he was injured. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to OSHA. Worker safety should always be the number 1 priority for every company.

Do you need more information about a Centralia trench collapse. Our team of worker’s rights advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that workers are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any accident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (312) 564-4256.