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Big rig kills construction worker in Berkeley accident

Authorities believe that failed brakes on a big rig may be implicated in a fatal accident at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Berkeley last week. A construction crew was renovating the track at the school when a parked truck began to roll down a slope. Crew members say that they called out to a man who was working on asphalt on the track, but the coworkers say that the man could not hear them.

The big rig rolled down and struck the man Tuesday afternoon. The 62-year-old man was crushed when the truck rolled down to where the man was working. A company spokesperson says that the fatal accident victim had been with the company for 25 years, and will be missed.

The refurbishing project apparently overlapped with orientation at the middle school. Some students reportedly were outside in an area overlooking the track when the tragic accident occurred.

Workplace safety officials are investigating the fatal construction site accident. Cal-OSHA officials may take months to complete its investigation. While safety issues are important, the family of an accident victim who has died in a workplace accident need not wait for a safety investigation to be conducted to seek benefits under California’s workers’ compensation laws.

Many families may not know where to turn after a fatal accident. Most families have other things on their minds after losing a loved one. The loss of a loved one can be emotionally draining and many family members may find it difficult to consider the future financial struggles that may follow a worker’s death. Seeking benefits is an important concept to consider for a family.

Source: Berkeley Patch, “Construction Worker Killed at King Middle School in Berkeley," Charles Burress, Aug. 27, 2013

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