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Lodi construction worker killed in Merced County accident

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Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2013 12:39 pm | Updated: 6:17 am, Fri Aug 2, 2013.

A 43-year-old Lodi man was killed in a construction-related accident just south of Merced, according to the Merced County Coroner’s Office.

Jose Jimenez, 43, a 15-year Teichert Construction employee, died at the scene at about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday after he was pinned between a piece of heavy equipment and concrete, according to the San Joaquin County coroner’s office. He was an operating engineer, according to Loran White, a vice president and spokesman at Teichert’s corporate office in Sacramento.

Greg Siggins, a spokesman for the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, said that Jimenez was operating a skid-steer loader on the bottom side of either a concrete bridge or overpass when the accident occurred.

Skid-steer loaders are used to dig and move landscaping and building materials. But the machines can also grade, jackhammer cement and load trucks.

Jimenez was part of a work crew on a project to widen Highway 99 to six lanes, a coroner’s spokesman said.

The California Department of Transportation is spending $128.1 million toward widening the highway to six lanes from Marysville to Bakersfield, according to Caltrans’ website.

Cal-OSHA has six months to investigate what caused the accident, Siggins said.

White, the Teichert spokesman, said the company held Jimenez in high regard, and the company is working hard to help his family and co-workers.

“It’s hit our company really hard,” White said. “We take safety really seriously at our company.”

White declined to specify how Teichert is helping Jimenez’s family, but said, “We’re going way beyond emotional support.”

Services are pending at Lodi Funeral Home.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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