KEARNEY, Mo. — The Clay County Sheriff’s Office identified the construction worker who died in a bridge collapse near Kearney, Missouri, Wednesday afternoon.
Connor Ernst, a 22-year old from California, Missouri, was pouring concrete when the bridge collapsed.
Ernst and three other construction workers with Lehman Construction Company were trapped in a mixture of wet concrete and rubble. The other three workers were able to get out.
On Wednesday, the sheriff’s office said it took firefighters 90 minutes to extricate Ernst, but on Thursday, they corrected that to 50 minutes. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The crew was working on the 148th Street bridge near Kearney, which was scheduled to be completed by the spring.
The bridge had been closed since 2016 and used to be a single-lane wooden bridge over Carroll Creek, but was approved to be reconstructed into a two-lane paved bridge.
Neighbor Richard Stuckey says the process to replace a smaller bridge started six years back.
“We had a one-lane bridge going across and it was rickety and needed repair,” Stuckey said.
“They were still pouring concrete and it just made it out of balance and slid down the hill,” he said of the collapse.
OSHA is continuing to investigate, but will not have more information for the public until they’re finished, which – by law – they have six months to complete.
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