Dec 23, 2011 at 9:20 am
MANKATO, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota Department of Transportation has paid a $30,000 penalty for serious safety violations in the death of a worker clearing floodwaters last spring.
Thirty-nine-year-old Michael Struck, of Cleveland, Minn., died March 22 when he was swept away as he used a backhoe to clear debris from culverts along Highway 169 near St. Peter. The tractor slid into a creek and the current pulled him through a culvert. His body was found the next day.
The Free Press of Mankato reported Friday that the state's Occupational Safety and Health Division determined that MnDOT failed to ensure the backhoe was safely positioned and failed to ensure Struck was wearing a life jacket while working next to floodwaters.
MnDOT says it has changed its practices to ensure it doesn't happen again.