Larry Sillanpa

Kelsey Hagenson, 18, was killed in a construction accident on the Bong Bridge project that occurred about 7 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 21.

The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office reported that Hagenson suffered from “multiple blunt force injuries due to a pedestrianforklift mishap.” He died in a Duluth hospital about an hour after the incident. The federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration is investigating the accident. 

A compressor and bags of cement were reportedly being moved on a skid by the forklift when the compressor fell off and landed on Hagenson and another worker, who was injured but as yet has not been named. A third worker was operating the forklift and Hagenson and the injured worker were walking alongside it.

Hagenson was a first year apprentice of Laborers Local 140 in Lacrosse, Wis. From Stanley, Wisconsin, he graduated from Stanley-Boyd High School this year. He was employed by Lunda Construc-tion of Black River Falls, Wis., a large bridge building and rehabilitation contractor.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Kelsey’s family and friends,” said Laborers Local 1091 Business Manager Dan Olson. “We strive and train to ensure workplace safety every day so workers can make it home at the end of their work day. It’s such a tragedy to lose a young kid in an accident like this. We work in a dangerous industry.”

The eastbound lanes of the bridge (U.S. Highway 2) have been closed as part of the two year $18.2 million rebuild of the span connecting Duluth, MN and Superior, Wis. The project is expected to be completed and the bridge reopened by Nov. 1. Last year the westbound lanes to Duluth were shutdown.