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Hendricks County highway worker dies when stepping behind moving excavator

COATESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — A Hendricks County Highway Department worker was killed Wednesday morning when he was struck by a ditch excavator at a work site, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

David Appleby, 61, of Clayton, died in the accident. He’d worked for the highway department for more than 30 years, said Curt Higginbotham, superintendent of the department, in the release.

Deputies were called about 9:45 a.m. Wednesday to the fatality on County Road 450 South, also commonly known as Amo-Coatesville Road, near County Road 675 West. That’s in an area with farm fields, forests and a few homes about a mile northeast of Coatesville off State Road 75 in western Hendricks County.

Appleby was working as a safety flagger when he stepped behind the ditch excavator while it was slowly backing up at the work site. It was unknown why Appleby stepped behind the large piece of equipment. He died at the scene.

Another highway department employee, who was not named in the release, was operating the ditch excavator.

Neither alcohol or other intoxicants were believed to have been involved in the incident.

Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration is among agencies investigating Appleby’s death.