Aaron Terpstra Died In Accident Involving Falling Mud Mats at Kittatinny Campgrounds in Barryville
SULLIVAN COUNTY, NEW YORK (March 2, 2022) – A firefighter and tree trimmer identified as Aaron Terpstra has tragically died after being hit by falling mud mats at Kittatinny Campgrounds in Barryville.
Sullivan County police officials are saying that the accident took place on February 23. Aaron Terpstra was placing the mud mats on a cherry picker truck when a gust of wind knocked them over.
The mats each weighed between 50 to 100 lbs and 13 of them fell onto the victim. A co-worker saw what happened and tried to remove the mats.
Paramedics were called to the scene of the accident in order to help Aaron Terpstra. Sadly, Aaron Terpstra died at the scene after life-saving measures were administered.
The tree trimmer also worked as a firefighter for the White Lake Fire Company. His fellow firefighters posted a tribute to him on their Facebook page.
A full investigation into the accident at Kittatinny Campgrounds in Barryville remains ongoing.
Liability In Sullivan County Workplace Accidents
Far from being “freak occurrences,” workplace accidents involving falling objects are actually extremely common. According to the data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 50,000 people are injured by falling objects every year. That’s around one person injured every ten minutes. There are a number of workplace activities where workers are more likely to be injured by falling objects.
- Working on scaffolds
- Working under storage racks
- Working by industrial trucks
- Working on heightened platforms
OSHA has estimated that the vast majority of workplace accidents can be prevented when the right safety protocols are followed. Depending on the specific facts of any case, a company could be liable if a worker is injured by falling objects. Indeed, New York has some of the strongest laws protecting workers in the country.
- New York Labor Law § 200: All employers in New York have a legal responsibility to maintain their places of work in a reasonably safe condition. Per the text of the statute, “All places to which this chapter applies shall be so constructed, equipped, arranged, operated and conducted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection to the lives, health and safety of all persons employed therein or lawfully frequenting such places.” Failure to maintain a worksite in a reasonably safe condition could form the basis of a negligence claim.
- New York Labor Law § 240: Building owners and general contractors are held strictly liable for all gravity related accidents. This includes instances when a worker falls or is hit by a falling object.
- New York Labor Law § 241(6): Companies engaged in construction, demolition, and excavation must follow all industrial codes for the safety of their workers. If a corporation violated a specific industrial code prior to an accident, this could create the basis of a civil claim.
The family of any victim that died in a workplace accident may have legal recourse through N.Y. Est. Powers & Trusts Law § 5-4.1 (2021). Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills and funeral expenses. It is extremely important that evidence is properly preserved after any accident. Evidence is ultimately what will be used to demonstrate negligence in many claims. A New York wrongful death attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your rights are.
Investigating A Sullivan County Workplace Accident
We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Aaron Terpstra. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. It is our sincere hope that there is a thorough investigation into how this took place. Worker safety should always be the top priority for every company.
Do you need more information about a Sullivan County workplace accident? Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that accident victims are aware of their rights and that corporations are doing everything in their power to keep workers safe. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into an accident we are here for you. You’re always welcome to reach out to us anytime at (516) 908-9792.