Construction worker dies after trench collapse


A construction worker died May 13 after emergency crews were dispatched to the recently opened Crew Carwash at 14650 Umber Ave. on reports of a trench collapse.

The Noblesville Fire Department was dispatched shortly after 9:45 a.m., and upon arrival, they found co-workers digging to free the victim, 21-year-old Shawn Young of Elwood. According to the NFD, crews immediately began working to free the unresponsive victim trapped up to his shoulders in the trench.

Witnesses stated the worker was installing a water line when the trench suddenly caved in. NFD stated they extricated the worker after an extensive two-hour rescue operation involving more than 30 firefighters.

Hamilton County Coroner Jeff Jellison pronounced Young dead at the scene.

NFD stated that the NFD Tactical Rescue Team, which maintains a technician-level Trench Rescue Certification and trains regularly for this type of emergency, led the rescue operation.

“This type of collapse is dangerous because the event happens very quickly, leaving a small amount of time to react due to the weight and pressure of the dirt and soil,” stated Trevor Hash, division chief for NFD. “Rescue workers used premade barriers and pistons to shore up the walls and prevent a secondary collapse. Once secured, the walls allowed firefighters to enter the trench and begin freeing the victim.”

Hash stated Paddack’s Wrecker & Heavy Transport supplied a Vac Truck, which firefighters used to help move loose dirt and soil away from the victim.

NFD worked alongside the Westfield Fire Department, Noblesville Police Department, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, Paddack’s Wrecker & Heavy Transport and the City of Noblesville Utilities Department.