Town and federal investigators probe worker death at Rotterdam body shop
ROTTERDAM John Dean’s first day at AC Body Works was also his last.
The 39-year-old Albany man was toiling alone in the garage of the Guilderland Avenue business only hours into his first shift Monday when the unthinkable happened around 11:15 a.m.: A tow truck parked in the bay rolled forward, pinning the unsuspecting man underneath.
Emergency personnel arriving on the scene attempted to resuscitate Dean and took him to Ellis Hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries. Now investigators are trying to piece together exactly what led up to the fatal accident.
“We’re still investigating the exact cause of the accident,” said Rotterdam Police Lt. Michael Brown. “The vehicle moved at some point and we’re still trying to determine how it moved.
Brown would release few details about the accident, which is also being investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. An OSHA official said the investigation into the accident is in its early stages and could offer no additional information.
A person answering the phone at AC Body Works declined to comment Tuesday.
Brown said six other people were at work at the time but nobody witnessed the accident. He said there’s no indication that drugs or alcohol played a factor.
An autopsy was scheduled to be performed on Dean on Tuesday, but Brown was not aware of the results. Brown wouldn’t discuss the sequence of events that led up to Dean’s death or how investigators believe the tow truck rolled forward until a probe of the accident is complete.
“We can’t determine that until we’ve completed the investigation and we’re not there at this point,” he said.