By Frank Lewis
Trained divers from the Portsmouth Fire Department were pressed into service to attempt to locate the body of a Scioto County man who was killed on a construction site in Lawrence County Thursday.
Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless said around 11:40 a.m. his office received a 911 call of an accident at the construction site located at the bridge on Ohio 7 that crosses the Indian Guyan Creek.
Lawless said, upon arrival, deputies discovered that Bradley D. Jenkins, 45, of 3377 Mt. Hope Rd., in Otway, who worked for Complete General Construction, had slipped into a hole, had gone under water and had not surfaced. Jenkins had reportedly been working on a drill bit when the ground slipped and he fell into the hole and debris such as rock and dirt came in around and over him. The hole was estimated to be about 10 feet deep with another hole next to it that was estimated to be up to 35 feet deep.
Lawless said immediate efforts to retrieve Jenkins were unsuccessful. That’s when the divers from the Portsmouth Fire Department were called in. They too worked to retrieve Jenkins’ body for about six hours, but they too were unsuccessful because he was trapped against a wall by rock and dirt.
At about 9 p.m. a decision was made to use a backhoe to dig the body out. Lawless said it was a last option because they did not want to damage the body with the equipment. At around 10:15 p.m. emergency crews were able to recover Jenkins’ body. He was taken to Halls Funeral Home. Lawrence County Coroner, Dr. Kurt Hoffman made the decision to send Jenkins’ body to Columbus for an autopsy.
OSHA arrived at the scene at around 7:45 a.m. Friday to conduct an investigation. Lawless said no foul play is suspected in the incident.
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 252, or on Twitter @FrankLewispd