The Oklahoma Highway Patrol and Army Corps of Engineers responded to a possible drowning incident in Creek County Tuesday night.
OHP said a construction worker, 36-year-old Edwardo Garcia from Tulsa, was using an excavator to move rocks near the Highway 48 bridge over the Cimarron River when the excavator fell into deep water with him on it.
Emergency crews searched for him for about 10 hours and finally found him. They said it took so long because there was a lot of debris and the water was flowing.
OHP said Garcia had been working on the Highway 48 bridge for a few days. They built a temporary one underneath to get their equipment back and forth.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is assisting in the investigation, as well as the company in charge of the site, Manhattan Road and Bridge.
The company released the following statement:
Our crews worked all night diligently with first responders, emergency personnel and the authorities to assist with the recovery effort after an accident at our project site off State Highway 48. Our thoughts and prayers go out to our team member involved in the accident, his family, friends and the remainder of the team affected. Safety for our workers is the top priority of our business every day, and we will continue to work with the appropriate authorities to investigate this accident.
Work on the bridge has been postponed until further notice.