Worker killed in manhole construction accident

Two people were injured and one man was wrongfully killed in a construction accident last week in Winston-Salem.  The accident occurred Wednesday, January 5 at around 10 A.M. when two of the workers were working in a manhole to replace valves on the raw water pipeline running between the Thomas Water Treatment Plant and Salem Lake.

While in the manhole, gas fumes began to leak into the space and overwhelm the construction workers.  A third man attempted to pull the incapacitated workers from the manhole but also became overwhelmed by the fumes.  Emergency Medical Services officials rescued the three men and transported them to the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.  One of the workers, 62-year old Herman Wilson, later passed away at the hospital.

Reports indicate that the workers were employed by J. Ramey Construction, LLC.  Investigators from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating what caused gas fumes to leak into the manhole.

Our utmost sympathies go out to Wilson’s family and friends.