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Truck strikes lift bucket, injures highway worker

A collision between a tractor-trailer and the bucket of a motorized lift on Interstate 75 in Lima, Ohio, has left a man seriously injured. The construction accident happened earlier this month just before 4 a.m.

A 40-year-old man from Elida, Ohio, was working on a bridge at the time of the accident, according to his employer. That employer is Eagle Bridge of Sidney, Ohio, a construction company that was contracted for the bridge project. The company's employee was in the bucket of the lift and was reportedly extending the bucket across the right lane of traffic on the northbound side of I-75.

The highway had been brought down to a single lane of traffic while the man was working on the bridge. While reportedly hanging over the right lane of traffic, the tractor-trailer, driven by a 49-year-old man from Michigan, struck the bucket. The worker was thrown from the bucket because he was reportedly not wearing his safety harness. He landed in a grassy area near the highway.

Emergency responders from Bath Township, Ohio, took him to Lima Memorial Health System. Currently, no information has been released from the hospital in regard to the man's condition. State troopers did report that he was in the Intensive Care Unit at some point, but his injuries did not seem to be life-threatening.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was contacted about the accident, but little information has been shared with the agency. An official from the agency said that she believed the accident would be worth investigating.

The driver was not injured in the accident and has not been charged. Authorities believe that he was driving at or below the speed limit and alcohol is not believed to be a factor. If the truck driver is not responsible, it could mean the man was operating his life recklessly. If that's the case, then his employer needs to make an effort to better train its workers.

Source: Lima News, "Construction worker thrown from lift in Friday morning I-75 accident," Sarah Stemen, Nov. 16, 2012

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