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Fayetteville utility worker killed during Hurricane Matthew repairs

Posted November 29

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— A Fayetteville Public Works Commission worker died Tuesday while making repairs near an earthen dam damaged by Hurricane Matthew, authorities said.

PWC was making repairs to electrical and sewer lines along Offing Drive, which tops an earthen dam that helps form McFayden Lake. J.W. Ivey was operating a Bobcat at the site when the equipment overturned off the dam into the lake at about 11:15 a.m., authorities said.

Co-workers scrambled to Ivey out of the water, but he was trapped under the Bobcat. Eventually, divers were sent in to recover his body.

State Department of Labor investigators were at the scene Tuesday afternoon trying to piece together what happened, and PWC officials are also investigating the incident.

"J.W. was a long-time dedicated employee, and this is a tremendous loss to the PWC family," Chief Executive and General Manager David Trego said in a statement. "This loss reminds us of the extremely dangerous conditions our employees face every day and why safety is our top concern. All of PWC has J.W.’s family and friends in our thoughts and prayers."

Ivey had worked for PWC for 13 years and was a Water Resources crew leader. His death is the first on-the-job fatality for PWC in nearly 50 years, officials said.

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