Saturday, December 15th, 2007
Two local men injured when trench collapses
By Margie Wuebker
Two local men were injured when a trench in which they were working collapsed on top of them Friday morning near Montezuma.
Levarn Koesters, 51, 1000 Woodview Drive, Coldwater, and Eric E. Langenkamp, 29, 328 N. West St., St. Marys, were rescued by fellow Saintignon Excavating employees.
The two men were laying pipe in a trench for a lagoon at Mike's Sanitation Service, 8810 Brockman Road. Both were buried when a portion of the southwest corner collapsed shortly before 11:45 a.m.
"They were digging into the bank and it just collapsed," owner Bruce Saintignon told The Daily Standard on Friday night. "Other employees at the site responded quickly and dug them out."
He declined to comment further on the accident, saying his primary concern at this point is the well being of his injured workers.
Both men were taken by ambulance from the scene, located between St. John Road and the Mercer-Auglaize County Line Road, to Mercer County Community Hospital in Coldwater.
Koesters was treated in the emergency room and then transferred aboard a CareFlight emergency helicopter to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, where his condition was listed as fair Friday night. Langenkamp was treated then released.
"Levarn is going to need back surgery and then recuperation time," Saintignon said moments after talking with family members late Friday. "Eric is back home with his family."
Koesters has worked six years for the company headquartered at 8851 County Road 219A, Celina, while Langenkamp has completed a year of service.
Saintignon expressed gratitude to employees for their rapid response, adding the outcome could have been far different without their diligence. The men were pulled from the trench prior to the arrival of emergency personnel.
Mercer County Sheriff's deputies responded to the scene as did Montezuma Fire Department personnel and a Coldwater unit of Mercer County Emergency Medical Services.