Dump truck backs over, kills MoDOT inspector

Saturday, April 8, 2006

A veteran Missouri Department of Transportation employee was killed on the job Friday when a dump truck backed over him near Old Appleton.

Robert Eftink, 62, of Marble Hill, Mo., had been working at a construction site on Interstate 55 south of Route KK at mile marker 116 when the accident occurred around 2:30 p.m., the Missouri State Highway Patrol stated.

Eftink suffered "multiple-system trauma" and "massive injuries," Cape Girardeau County Coroner John Clifton said. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:05 p.m.

The dump truck, which was not state-owned but subcontracted out, had been backing up in the outside northbound lane closed to traffic when it struck Eftink, said Mark Shelton, MoDOT's district engineer for Southeast Missouri.

Eftink had been a department employee for 20 years and worked as an intermediate construction inspector overseeing subcontractors, Shelton said.

"We are of course terribly saddened by this accident," Shelton said.

Supervisors at the scene would wear orange vests and hats, but Shelton could not confirm whether Eftink had been wearing them. He also did not know whether the dump truck had been sounding a signal to indicate it was in reverse.

This was the first MoDOT worker killed by a construction vehicle that Shelton could recall.

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