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OSHA probing death of 34-year-old engineer at construction site

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Steve Marcus

Officials investigate a fatal construction accident on Blue Diamond Road by the I-15 northbound on-ramp Tuesday, June 29, 2010.

Updated Tuesday, June 29, 2010 | 1:41 p.m.

Click to enlarge photo

Workers wait as officials investigate a fatal construction accident on Blue Diamond Road by the I-15 northbound on-ramp Tuesday, June 29, 2010.

Fatal Accident

UPDATED STORY: Coroner identifies man killed at I-15 construction site

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating a Tuesday morning construction accident in the south Las Vegas Valley that killed a 34-year-old operating engineer.

The Nevada Highway Patrol responded at 6:26 a.m. to the accident at the Blue Diamond Road and Interstate 15 interchange, but OSHA has taken over the investigation.

The operating engineer had been employed by Las Vegas Paving since March 2005. Two of the worker’s family members also work for the company, officials said.

OSHA wasn't releasing details Tuesday morning but Las Vegas Paving released a statement about the accident.

“We consider workplace safety to be priority one on all of our projects and have accordingly directed a 24-hour safety shutdown on this job while safety protocol and procedures are reviewed and reinforced with our employees,” Las Vegas Paving Attorney James M. Barker said.

The accident happened in a construction zone of the I-15 South Design-Build Project, which will widen the freeway from Tropicana Avenue to Silverado Ranch Boulevard.

The $246.5 million project began in February and is scheduled to end in March 2012. Crews are adding additional lanes to the road as well as connector-distributor roads along the side of the freeway and making improvements to interchanges.

A new detour was scheduled to go into effect Thursday at the site of today’s accident. Project officials planned to detour traffic going to I-15 from both directions of Blue Diamond Road onto temporary ramps for four months.

The detour was to allow for more extensive work on the Blue Diamond bridges, where a new flyover will eventually connect eastbound Blue Diamond to northbound I-15. Officials said the detour will likely be moved to next week.

On Friday, a Henderson man died at the intersection as a result of natural causes. Troopers said the man's white Nissan Altima was traveling east on Blue Diamond at about 5 p.m. when the vehicle left the road in a construction area at I-15. The vehicle hit a construction barricade, then went airborne and landed on construction materials.

The Clark County Coroner’s Office has determined that the Henderson man, 56-year-old Layne Brandhagen, died of a heart attack before the crash.

Three people died earlier this month in another car crash in a construction area when their car entered a closed ramp from the Las Vegas Beltway to I-15 and struck construction materials.

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