Authorities are investigating after a backhoe accident Monday morning near Mount Vernon killed the machine’s operator.
Justin D. Steenhard, 31, of Elma, died in the accident along Springville Road, just north of Abbe Hills Road. Linn County sheriff’s deputies responded around 9:30 a.m. Monday and discovered a Caterpillar tractor with a loader and backhoe tipped over in the east ditch, with the operator trapped underneath the machine. Construction workers were already attempting to help the man.
Steenhard was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.
The scene where the accident took place was along portion of Springville Road that was under construction by a private company contracted through Linn County, officials said.