Jacksonville man identified as victim in deadly construction accident in St. Johns County development

A person was killed Thursday morning in an industrial accident at a construction site in the Silverleaf community of St. Johns County, authorities said.

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – A 35-year-old Jacksonville man has been identified as the victim of a fatal industrial accident at a construction site in the Silverleaf community of St. Johns County, the St. Johns Sheriff’s Office reported.

According to the incident report, Joshua Longley of Jacksonville was killed while operating an excavator Thursday morning on Courtney Vista Drive, which runs east of Silverleaf Parkway just off County Road 16A.

A witness said Longley was operating the excavator when he hit a ditch and was launched forward out of his seat then run over by the excavator. The excavator continued to drive freely until it hit a tree.

The sheriff’s office’s major crimes unit arrived at the scene and continued the investigation.

News4JAX confirmed Thursday that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) opened an investigation into what it called a “tragic incident.”

Records filed through OSHA show two reports for the contracting company last year, which appeared to be planned, surprise site inspections.

J.B. Coxwell Contracting, Inc., which employed Longley, declined to comment but issued a statement on Facebook Friday:

“There was a tragic accident on one of our job sites yesterday morning that resulted in the loss of one of our employees. At J.B. Coxwell we truly think of every employee as family, and we are all feeling this great loss today. We would like to express our deepest sympathies to his family, friends, and coworkers. Please keep them in your prayers during this very difficult time.”

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