"Big Dig" claims fourth victim

News AED April 01, 2003
Printer-friendly version





A construction veteran became the fourth fatality of Boston's "Big Dig" project when he was accidentally crushed to death over

A construction veteran became the fourth fatality of Boston's "Big Dig" project when he was accidentally crushed to death over the weekend by a pile-driving crane, just days before officials were to christen one of their greatest achievements.


The body of Lonnie Avant, 55, was found trapped between the crane's cab and its massive treaded tracks at a work site of the Central Artery/Ted Williams Tunnel at D Street and Haul Road in South Boston.


Investigators believe Avant, an operating engineer employed by Rev-Lyn Contracting Co. may have been oiling the crane's turret just before 10 a.m., unbeknownst to his partner and close friend Lloyd Colmer, who Big Dig Spokesman Sean O'Neill said was at the controls.


O'Neill said Colmer was so distraught over the accident that he collapsed and had to be hospitalized.


O'Neill, who knew Avant, called him "a fine gentleman, highly, highly liked. He was a real character, a real good guy. I remember him always laughing."


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the accident, but does not believe there are any facts pointing to reckless conduct.


Overlay Init