Investigations by Department of Labor, Vernon Police lead to first-degree manslaughter charges in Connecticut trench fatality
Incident: Fatal trench collapse in Vernon, Connecticut
Date: July 22, 2022
Background: Inspectors with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, special agents with the department’s Office of Inspector General, and detectives with the Town of Vernon’s Police Department investigated the collapse of an 8-foot-deep trench that killed an employee of Botticello Inc., a Manchester construction contractor.
OSHA determined that Botticello failed to provide legally required safeguards and issued the company a citation for willful violations with proposed penalties of $375,021. The company has contested OSHA’s findings with the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
On March 3, 2023, the investigations led the Vernon Police Department to arrest Dennis Botticello, owner of Botticello Inc. and Glen Locke, a Somers, Connecticut equipment operator, on charges of first-degree manslaughter and first-degree reckless endangerment.
Quote: “Dennis Botticello and Glen Locke now face first-degree manslaughter and first-degree reckless endangerment charges for failing to provide legally required safeguards that could have prevented a deadly cave-in,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Galen Blanton in Boston. “These arrests are the result of collaborative investigations by local and federal law enforcement groups that show OSHA will use all available enforcement tools at its disposal to ensure workers are afforded the protections provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Act.”
Ted Fitzgerald, 617-565-2075, firstname.lastname@example.org
James C. Lally, 617-565-2074, email@example.com
Release Number: 23-471-BOS