MCOSH Joins in Demanding Criminal Investigation of Va. Trench Collapse Fatality

evidence, pictures taken by the media show that the trench had a 90-degree angle down and was otherwise unsecured. After making the decision not to secure the trench, the responsible parties intentionally or recklessly directed or authorized two or more people to descend into or otherwise come in dangerous proximity to the unsecured trench, at least one of whom was a teenager, possibly under the legal age in the state of Virginia for working in an excavation. Subsequently, the trench collapsed, causing the death of the teenager and the injury of another person. 

The undersigned individuals and organizations respectfully ask for your office to investigate Digges Development Corporation, its owners, and/or other site operators and their owners to determine whether their recklessness, which caused the death of a teenager and the injury of another, constitutes the criminal offenses of involuntary manslaughter and assault and battery, respectively. Additionally, we request a meeting with your office to discuss this incident in more detail. To respond with questions or set up a meeting, please contact Katie Tracy at (202) 747-0698 x.7 or 


Rena Steinzor, Member Scholar, Center for Progressive Reform 

Katie Tracy, Policy Analyst, Center for Progressive Reform 

David Flores, Policy Analyst, Center for Progressive Reform (resident of Catawba, Virginia) 

Diane Matthew Brown, CET, Labor of Love Safety Training and Consulting 

Daniel J. Brustein, MD, FACOEM, CIH, Retired (Cleveland, OH) 

Michael Felsen, Justice at Work Fellow 

Debra Fisher, IUE-CWA (Moraine, OH) 

Nicole Fuller, Exec. Dir., PhilaPOSH 

Jaribu Hill, Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights 

Thomas Joyce, Chairperson, Midstate (NY) Council for Occupational Safety and Health 

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