Las Vegas Sun

October 24, 2014

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Crane operator’s leg crushed in I-15 construction accident

A 51-year-old crane operator's leg was crushed Thursday when he was pinned inside the cab of the crane after it fell on its side.

It took Clark County Fire Department's Heavy Rescue Team 45 minutes to free the man because his legs were pinned inside the cab, preventing rescuers to free him, Steve La-Sky, spokesman for the fire department said.

Fred Lybarger's legs were pinned under the levers that control the crane's boom, La-Sky said.

"He was in quite of bit of pain as rescuers tried to unpin him," La-Sky said. "The levers had to be cut off in order for the heavy-rescue crew to free him."

Lybarger was working on a freeway expansion project in the 3200 block of Rancho Road near southbound Interstate 15 about 12:50 p.m. when the crane toppled on its side, pinning Lybarger.

"For some reason, the crane tipped over," La-Sky said.

Lybarger works for Max Riggs Construction, which last year was granted a three-year contract on the $112.8 million Spaghetti Bowl reconfiguration near downtown.

Lybarger underwent surgery on his right leg Thursday at University Medical Center. He was in serious but stable condition today, a hospital nursing supervisor said.

Investigators with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were investigating whether the outriggers required to stabilize the crane were in place, an OSHA spokeswoman said today.

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