Hastings construction worker said he "had bad feeling about the job," gets crushed next day

Categories: Sad, Tragedy
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Tukua had a bad feeling a day before he died while dredging a pond.
Sometimes, following your instincts can be a matter of life or death.

SEE ALSO: Highway suicide: Why do people keep lying down in Minnesota traffic?

On October 21, Jeffery Tukua, a 46-year-old construction worker from Hastings, told his wife he "had a bad feeling" about a pond-dredging job he was to begin the next day in Fort Snelling State Park near MSP airport and didn't want to report to work. Tragically, on October 22 he was crushed to death by a backhoe.

From Mendota Heights Patch:
"Jeffery told [his wife] he felt the job was dangerous and someone was going to get killed," an officer in the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport Police wrote in a recently released report.

Tukua, a 46-year-old Hastings man employed by the Jordan-based construction firm S.M. Hentges, was working on a Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) project to create a drainage pond to capture runoff from the airport and prevent pollutants from flowing into the Mississippi River...

Tim Culp, a S.M. Hentges project manager told police there were no safety concerns on the Holding Pond #4 project and that using wood planks to stabilize backhoes on muddy terrain is a common practice. S.M. Hentges holds daily safety meetings, Culp said.
Tukua died of compression asphyxia after a backhoe he was driving on planks over muddy ground tipped, pinning him in between the immense weight of the vehicle and the edge of the pond.

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Brian Cook
Brian Cook

Ive been running excavator since I was 18 and been in the craziest and scariest of jobs.That just goes with the territory if you dont trust your ability than tell someone.Dont be scared that there gonna look down on ya.Wood planks are always used and safe keep the machine on them and no jerky movements and you'll be just fine.R.I.P. fellow operator.

MicheleBachmann topcommenter

Rupar was this guy in a union?   Do you have any idea about the relative safety of this type of project?   What is the company's safety record like?    Poor guy, that sucks.

Chris Haglund
Chris Haglund

wood planks dont sound safe at all. im sure its common practice and all but there is prolly a better solution

Melissa Dreier
Melissa Dreier

When a worker who knows what they are doing says something is unsafe, they should be listened to!

Mare Anderson
Mare Anderson

Wood planks to support a backhoe in a bog? The backhoe should be wearing iron wings!

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