Worker rescued from trench

Cole Brickley is placed on a gurney Monday night by rescue personnel after nearly six hours in a trench, where his leg had been trapped between the wall of a trench and a 22-inch pipe.

After being lodged in a muddy trench deep underground, a cheer went up and family members exhaled Monday night as rescuers pulled up a man who had been stuck for six hours.

“I just want to see him come up with a smile,” said Lyn Brickey, the man’s stepmother. “He’s a young, spry, healthy kid.”

Cole Brickey, a 24-year-old construction worker, wasn’t smiling after being stuck 23 feet underground. Rescuers held him up by his arms to keep weight off his legs as they gingerly loaded him into a waiting ambulance.

But, he was in “remarkably good shape,” said spokesman Mike Page of the Grand Junction Fire Department.

“He has a little hypothermia and probably a fracture in his leg,” he said.

Brickey, who works for Mendez Inc., had been part of a crew placing a sewer line deep into the ground on 32 Road north of the intersection with C Road.

At about 2:30 p.m., his legs became stuck between the wall of the trench and a 22-inch pipe, and the dirt in the area took on water, creating a sticky mud.

Around 4 p.m., construction workers called emergency workers from Central Orchard Mesa Volunteer Fire Department, who were able to free one of the man’s legs.

A trench rescue crew from the Grand Junction Fire Department was called at 7:30 p.m., and Brickey was freed just after dark at 8:30 p.m.

Page said a Rippy’s Utility Locating Services vacuum truck ultimately helped dislodge the man’s leg when the surrounding mud was sucked away.

The ordeal shut down 32 Road for hours Monday night between C and D roads.

Lyn Brickey said Cole had just been talking about how much he liked his job because it is exciting.

Cole Brickey’s mother, Vicky, who was pacing nervously during the incident, said she was waiting for news at first at home but couldn’t stay away and came down to the scene.

Finally, one of her son’s fellow construction workers called out to her and she melted.

“He’s out, Mom!” the worker said. “We got him out him out of there.”


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