Truck malfunctions, killing construction flagger

Crews were fixing a gas leak in Happy Valley

The scene of where a fatal crash involving a construction worker occurred on June 23, 2017. (KOIN)
The scene of where a fatal crash involving a construction worker occurred on June 23, 2017. (KOIN)

HAPPY VALLEY Ore. (KOIN) — A 71-year-old man died Friday after being hit by a dump truck experiencing mechanical issues in a construction zone.

According to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, Northwest Natural Gas crews were in the street at SE 132nd and SE Rose Meadow Drive addressing a gas leak in the area. The dump truck driver was there helping the crew when the truck malfunctioned and hit the flagger who was stopping traffic.

“Tragic,” Hayden Sanders with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said. “Unfortunately we see this more often than not.”

This is the second time in a month a flagger has been struck and killed in Happy Valley. On May 23, Pablo Dominguez-Amezuca died when 51-year-old Fedsot Tsopki drove through a construction zone where he was working.

Authorities told KOIN 6 News the Northwest Natural crew had to continue working right after the deadly accident because the gas leak was also a danger.

Neither the flagger nor the driver were Northwest Natural employees. The driver stayed at the scene and cooperated with the investigation. He is not facing any charges at this time.

Due to the crash, SE 132nd Avenue South of Sunnyside was closed during the investigation.