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Dwayne Dale, 46, Richmond, Canada, 03.07.05


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Worker crushed on the job

By Nelson Bennett

The Worker's Compensation Board is investigating the death of a 46-year-old employee at City Wide Auto Towing in Richmond Monday.

Dwayne Dale was killed at the towing company's compound at 9500 River Drive sometime between 10:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., said provincial coroner Stephen Fonseca.

According to police and the WCB, Dale was apparently working beneath a vehicle, which was up on a flatbed truck, when the accident occurred.

"The vehicle ended up falling on top of him and crushing him, and, unfortunately, killing him almost instantly," said Cpl. Peter Thiessen of the Richmond RCMP.

Police received the call at about 10:30 a.m. Ambulances also arrived on the scene, but paramedics were unable to revive Dale, Fonseca said.

Fonseca has ordered an autopsy to verify the exact cause of death. Police are considering the accident work-related.

"Certainly there's nothing suspicious about it - no foul play," Thiessen said.

It's not clear how the vehicle managed to roll off the flatbed. That is something WCB will be investigating, said spokeswoman Donna Freeman.

Dale's fellow employees at the towing company's compound Monday morning were visibly distraught. One employee, who earlier expressed frustration with the abundance of press at the scene, later told reporters, "We've had a lot of things happen around here."

Monday's accident was not the first for the towing company.

In March, 2003, company owner Paul Sihata was run over by a semitrailer truck just outside his business office on River Drive.

He recovered, but it was never made clear how Sihata ended up under the tires of the vehicle.

In March 1994, Paul's Towing (which has the same street address as City Wide towing) received five workplace safety citations from the WCB. All were minor infractions.

Sihata was unavailable for comment Tuesday.

posted on 03/09/2005


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