“To my knowledge there was no training. It was three to five minutes before it was discovered he fell in.” – Deanna Hogue, mother of the victim, as published by KING 5 News
According to KING 5 News, 19-year-old Bradley Hogue was killed Monday after falling into an auger at a Lake Stevens landscaping site.
Hogue was part of a three-person team blowing bark onto a residential property in Duvall when the incident occurred – it was the teenager’s second day working for Pacific Topsoil.
Hogue’s parents are now questioning how their son died. Among the questions the Hogues want answered are why the company did not provide guards and safety harnesses to employees around the auger, what kind of training did their son receive before working with the equipment, and why did it took so long for their sons body to be discovered.
A spokesperson with the Washing State Department of Labor and Industries confirmed that Pacific Topsoil has been inspected five times over the past seven years – two of those inspections have resulted in citations.
The department also confirmed that they have launched an investigation into Hogue’s death and stated that an additional investigation into Pacific Topsoil is still pending.
KING 5 noted that there did not seem to be industry-wide regulations for auger operations and that each landscaping company contacted handled their work crews differently.