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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Tarzana

Construction Worker Hit by Water Tanker

May 08, 1999|KURT STREETER

A 57-year-old construction worker suffered major injuries Friday morning when he was run over by a water tanker at a building site.

The accident occurred about 9:30 at a Braemar Homes development in the Tarzana hills. The man, whose name was withheld by authorities, was working on a hillside when he was struck.

Dean Fryer, a spokesman for Cal/OSHA, which is investigating the accident, said the man was standing with his back to the 20-foot-long tanker when he was hit.

"The driver was backing up and said he didn't see the guy in his mirrors," Fryer said. "But as soon as the guy was knocked down, the driver stopped."

Fryer said the injured man, employed by Nelson/Belding Construction of Gardena, was doing an elevation and grade study.

A worker at the site said the man appeared to have tripped before the tanker hit him.

"I was watching it happen and it looked to me like the guy just went down right in front of it," said Eric Thibault, a superintendent at the site.

The victim's injuries included a partially severed leg and a broken wrist. He was taken by helicopter to UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, where surgeons were attempting to save the lower part of his left leg.

"Frankly, this is a guy that's fortunate to be alive," said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Jim Wells.

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