Irvine : Collapsing Pit Injures Worker at Building Site

A construction worker suffered several fractured vertebrae Tuesday when one side of a 15-foot-deep pit at an Irvine office building site caved in on him, authorities said.

Paul Ursulich, 34, of Orange was reported paralyzed from the chest down and underwent surgery at Fountain Valley Community Hospital on Tuesday afternoon, according to hospital officials. Orange County Fire Department Capt. Lou Furst said the accident occurred shortly after 11 a.m. in the excavation area of a construction site at Main Street and Jamboree Road.

Larry May, a construction manager for Equidon Contractors of Irvine, said Ursulich went into the hole to check the grade. Then the “side slipped in,” he said, trapping the worker in dirt up to his shoulders.

May said the accident occurred in a notch that had just been cut into the side of a previously excavated area for the construction of a parking garage. The project, called Irvine Corporate Plaza, also involves the construction of a 13-story office building, May said.