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Tragic Idaho Workplace Accident Claims Life, Family Spreads Awareness

Posted on Dec 23, 2013

On September 10th, a tragic accident took the life of an Idaho man working near downtown Wendell. The man, 43-year-old Jerrad Durfee, was laying pipe in a trench that was six feet deep by two feet wide at the time of the horrific accident. With no safety gear in place, the trench collapsed, burying Mr. Durfee alive.

According to the family of Mr. Durfee, the trench’s collapse occurred around 11:30 a.m. Mr. Durfee’s wife Diane heard a call about the accident on her husband’s scanner. Mr. Durfee’s co-worker attempted to rescue him by digging him out from the dirt. Tragically, he was unable to reach him in time. Mrs. Durfee heard the co-worker over the scanner stating that he had reached Jerrad but that he was not breathing.

At the time of the collapse, Mr. Durfee was reportedly working without any protection inside the trench. He was jack hammering, which caused the trench to cave in. Mr. Durfee had told his family that he was nervous about the job in the days leading up to his death and he had expressed concerns over his lack of training. His family further reports that although the City of Wendell has a trench box designed to protect workers from a collapse, it was not in use at the time of the accident.

While Mr. Durfee’s family is currently receiving workers’ compensation, their goal is to spread awareness about the importance of workplace safety to prevent further tragedies such as this. The family notes that the equipment that could have prevented the loss of Mr. Durfee was located just a block away. City Hall released a statement admitting that workplace safety protocol “was not strictly adhered to” during the construction project that took Mr. Durfee’s life. 

The Morton Law Offices expresses its deepest sympathies to the family of Mr. Durfee. To learn more about this and other workplace accident matters, contact a Boise workers’ compensation attorney today. Call our firm at 888-716-8021 to schedule a free consultation today.

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Alan Morton
Advocate for Justice/Trial Lawyer