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Construction Worker Killed at King Middle School in Berkeley

A 62-year-old construction worker was killed on the job at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Berkeley today, Tuesday, when he was hit by a truck, according to police and news reports.

The running track behind Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Berkeley. Photo: Google Street View
The running track behind Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Berkeley. Photo: Google Street View
Published Aug. 27, 2013, 6:17 p.m.; updated 6:58 p.m.

A 62-year-old construction worker was killed in an accident early this afternoon, Tuesday, at King Middle School in Berkeley while incoming students were present for orientation, according to information from Berkeley police and news reports.


Police began receiving calls about the incident about 12:35 p.m., according to Berkeley Police Officer Jennifer Coats.

A spokesman for the Berkeley Unified School District, Mark Coplan, said the man was killed by a truck about 12:30 as a construction crew worked on refurbishing the running track next to the school, according to Bay City News Service. 

A spokesman for for Cal/OSHA, the state agency that oversees workplace safety, said a big rig parked on a slope began rolling and rolled over the man, crushing him, according to Bay City News Service. 

Coplan said students who were at the school for orientation and were touring gardens overlooking the track were "very aware" of what happened, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The worker was hit as he was laying asphalt at the track, which is beside Hopkins Street behind the school, the Chronicle reported, citing a Cal/OSHA spokesman.

A spokesman for the Alameda County Coroner's Bureau told Patch late this afternoon that the man's name was being withheld pending notification of family.

He was employed by Robert A. Bothman Inc., a San Jose construction company working on the track, the Chronicle said.

Berkeleyside quoted a Cal/OSHA spokesman saying the 62-year-old man was from Livermore. The news site quoted a construction company executive saying he was "a great guy” who had been employed by the company for 25 years.

“We, all of us, are really saddened by the loss of our friend and a great employee,” said the firm's vice president for operations, Brian Bothman, according to Berkeleyside.

The company has had no reported safety violations in the past five years, according to a Cal/OSHA spokesman quoted by Bay City News Service.

Coats said Cal/OSHA has assumed responsibility for investigating the accident.

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