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Justice Limited: Deadly Mississippi River construction accident sparks safety investigation

A father is searching for answers after his 22-year-old son died in a construction accident on the Mississippi River.

By: C.J. LeMaster, WLBT

On August 23, 2016, Michael Collins backed an off-road construction vehicle toward a barge to load limestone, but an apparent brake malfunction caused his vehicle to lunge toward the murky water. After the truck went in, his body never resurfaced, and it took 11 days for volunteers to find him.

Once investigators with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration starting poring through the company’s records and examined the construction vehicle, it determined the company committed two serious violations.

First, OSHA said the braking systems on Michael’s vehicle were not operable or in a “safe condition.” A report obtained by WLBT, 3 On Your Side, stated parts of the braking system were actually missing from the truck.

To read the full text of this story for more about this issues uncovered by the government and WLBT, as well as to read response from the company, click here.