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Worker dies after bridge accident



Published: Wed, July 17, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A worker on a construction crew dismantling a bridge on the U.S. Route 422 bypass died when a steel beam struck him and knocked him off scaffolding beneath the bridge.

Russell Noga, acting Lawrence County coroner, said Troy L. Pedigo, 27, of Canonsburg, Pa., working for Alvarez Inc. of Pittsburgh, was working with another man cutting steel beams out of the bridge, commonly referred to as the Mahoningtown Bridge in Taylor Township, around 1 p.m. Tuesday when the accident happened.

The men had just cut a beam but it didn't come loose. Pedigo unhooked the tether from his safety harness to walk across the scaffolding to get a hydraulic hand pump used to free the beam, Noga said. A witness told authorities that as Pedigo picked up the pump, there was a loud popping sound as the beam came free on its own. As Pedigo turned around, the beam struck him, knocking him off the scaffolding to the ground 80 feet below, Noga said.

Pennsylvania State police said Pedigo was taken to St. Francis Hospital by ambulance, where he was pronounced dead at 1:52 p.m.

An autopsy showed Pedigo died of respiratory paralysis caused by a broken neck, police said.




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