Middlefield man crushed by truck, killed in West Hartford I-84 ramp accident

(WTNH/Bob Wilson)


(WTNH/Bob Wilson)
(WTNH/Bob Wilson)

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A Middlefield man who was doing bridge inspections is dead after a boom-truck became unbalanced and tipped over on him on a highway entrance ramp in West Hartford Wednesday afternoon.

Officials say 43-year-old William Shook was outside of the truck and deploying its boom on the Park Road ramp to I-84 East when the truck rolled over, crushing him between it and the guardrail.

“There was an operator and some other crew members there,” said West Hartford Assistant Fire Chief Richard Winn. “One individual got hurt, the rest scattered. When we got here there was one individual lying in the street.”

The individual lying in the street was taken to St. Francis Hospital where he was pronounced dead. OSHA does not believe he was hit by a car or truck and are calling this a “work-site accident”.

The scene was very difficult to investigate, with multiple agencies present. State police, the Connecticut Department of Transportation, and OSHA were on the bridge trying to figure out why the truck toppled. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection was beneath the bridge, trying to stop the truck’s leaking fuel from getting into the Park River.

“They have three of their big rigs up there, including a rotating wrecker,” Winn said. “They will hook all three of those to the vehicle and then they will slowly and methodically pull the vehicle up.”

The scene was cleared and the ramp reopened Thursday evening.

DOT officials say that the company that owns the truck, Middletown-based McClain & Company, is the same company that was involved in an accident on the Gold Star Bridge accident in New London on Tuesday. In that incident, two inspectors were in a truck’s bucket when the boom became stuck. McClain has been temporarily suspended in Connecticut until it can be determined what caused Wednesday’s fatal accident.

“Two accidents in two days, I guess the prudent thing would be to suspend them from doing anything until you find out exactly what happened,” Winn said.

One of the things investigators will look at is if the same truck was involved in both accidents.

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