Box Elder weed control worker killed in utility vehicle crash
BRIGHAM CITY — Two Box Elder County weed control workers were seriously injured, one fatally, in separate utility vehicle rollovers on Tuesday afternoon, according to the county attorney’s office.
The first worker was reported in stable condition at a local hospital while the second was dead at the scene, the county said in a news release. Both crashes occurred in the Promontory area, a land mass that extends south into the Great Salt Lake.
Both workers were seasonal employees with the county Weed Control Department.
“At this preliminary stage, the county believes the two employees were involved in rollover crashes while operating UTVs in the course of their work,” the county statement said.
According to a later news release from the Utah Division of State Parks, a law enforcement ranger was called to assist with the first incident around 1:40 p.m. While responding, the ranger was notified of the second crash, which occurred approximately half a mile away.
UTVs are similar to ATVs and sometimes are called side-by-sides. They are larger and can carry more gear.
“Our first concern is for the employees and their families. Our hearts are with them in the face of this terrible tragedy,” Anne Hansen, an assistant county attorney, said in a prepared statement.
The deceased worker was identified as William Kossman, 69. The name of the injured employee, who was flown to McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, was not released. Neither person is believed to have been wearing a helmet, according to the state parks announcement.
The county said it is cooperating with the Utah State Parks and the Utah Occupational Safety and Health divisions in an investigation of the crashes.
Eric Olsen, Utah Labor Commission spokesperson, said on Wednesday that Utah OSHA is investigating but that the agency had no further comment because the case is active.