Excavator falls into Sacramento River, killing driver

A small craft makes its way south on the Sacramento River. A man died when his excavator fell into the river Monday.
(Robert Durell / Los Angeles Times)

A construction worker died Monday when an excavator he was driving onto a barge slipped off and fell into the Sacramento River, state officials said.

The Sacramento Bee identified the man as 49-year-old Richard Wayne Alexander of Pittsburg. Alexander died after 1:30 p.m. when the excavator he was driving fell into about 15 feet of water, said Cal/OSHA spokesman Greg Siggins.

The agency, which investigates possible workplace safety violations, will issue the findings of its review into the incident by April, he added.


Alexander worked for Rivers Edge Construction, which was operating a sand mine on Decker Island in the East Bay. It took divers about three hours to access the excavator’s cabin, which was partially buried in 2 to 3 feet of silt, the Bee reported.


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