Construction worker killed in accident near West McDowell Junior High

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A construction worker died after he was run over by a dump truck near West McDowell Junior High School on Tuesday.

Rescuers were called to the scene at the entrance of the school at 11:55 a.m. after a truck hauling dirt struck Rafael Magana, 47, of Marion ,who was sweeping the roadway.

Sgt. Kevin Owens of the N.C. Highway Patrol said Gregory Aaron Beaver, 39, of Old Fort, was the driver of the truck and was backing down a hill when he rolled over Magana.

Rescue personnel found Magana pinned under the rear of the truck, according to EMS Director William Kehler.

Magana was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after emergency officials arrived.

Owens said the accident is still under investigation, but he did say the driver stated he did not see the victim.

Both workers are employed by Baker Grading and Landscaping. The company has been widening the road at the school since July as part of the construction projects needed to switch from junior highs to middle schools and expand the high school.

Students were inside at the time of the accident and the only witnesses were other construction workers.

McDowell County Superintendent Gerri Martin said the deceased worker does have children at the junior high.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the victim, as well as the driver," Martin told The McDowell News. "We keep them in our thoughts at this very difficult time."

Martin also stated that the school has already initiated grief counseling for students.

Pleasant Gardens Fire Department, Marion Fire Department, N.C. Highway Patrol, Marion Police Department, McDowell EMS, McDowell County Sheriff's Office, Rescue Squad, and first responders were on the scene.

It's the second accident associated with the overall project. On Aug. 12, 15 construction workers laying block at McDowell High fell 35 to 40 feet into a pile of construction material after the 60-foot scaffold collapsed. The accident sent eight victims to the hospital, two with serious injuries.

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