A public works worker who was helping an ongoing snow clearing operation in Buffalo, New York, died Wednesday. Local officials called it “heartbreaking” as they confirmed an investigation into the death was ongoing.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said the employees have not been identified but have worked in the city for decades. Press conference There he was joined by Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia. According to Gramaglia, based on a preliminary investigation, the employee was hit by a high-lift vehicle shoveling snow around 11:15 a.m., and died after crashing into him while in reverse.
The police chief said the worker died at the scene.
“We are heartbroken. We are suffering from this loss right now,” Brown said at a news conference, calling the accident a “huge tragedy” and calling workers “a part of our city team.” A very experienced member,” he said, “a very experienced member of our city family.”
Authorities are conducting an accident investigation to determine exactly what happened leading up to the employee’s death, including an inspection of the vehicle involved, the police commissioner said.Buffalo In an ongoing snow removal operation, about 200 “heavy machinery” helped clear snow from south Buffalo and move it elsewhere, Gramaglia explained.
“These are always tough scenes, and when it’s a friend and someone who is well known to the people investigating the accident on the ground and to their colleagues, it gets even more complicated,” Gramaglia said. “So our hearts go out to the families. Our hearts go out to the workers who have worked so hard for so many days here. It’s a terrible loss.”
The citywide effort follows last week’s snowstorm, which New York Gov. Kathy Hochul called “historic” because it could be dumpedin various cities and towns east of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Parts of Buffalo were hit hard by the storm, and the National Weather Service recorded his 77 inches on Saturday at Orchard Park, just south of Buffalo. The storm was at least the most severe since November 2014, when parts south of the city were hit by seven feet of snow, causing significant damage to homes and buildings.