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OSHA investigation leads to manslaughter charges in trench fatality


A contractor and an equipment operator are both facing first-degree reckless endangerment charges in Vernon, Connecticut, following a fatal trench collapse that resulted in willful violations with proposed penalties of $375,021 issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Special agents with the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General and detectives with the Town of Vernon’s Police Department investigated the collapse of an 8-foot-deep trench that killed an employee of Botticello Inc., a Manchester construction contractor, on July 22, 2022, according to a statement by OSHA.

OSHA determined that Dennis Botticello failed to provide legally required safeguards. The company has contested OSHA’s findings with the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The investigations led the Vernon Police Department to arrest Mr. Botticello, owner of Botticello Inc., and Glen Locke, a Somers, Connecticut equipment operator, on charges of first-degree manslaughter and first-degree reckless endangerment, OSHA said Friday. Further details were not available.