Family blames Beach construction company for man’s death

Posted at 6:42 PM, May 07, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-07 18:42:11-04

Newport News, Va. - A Newport News man's family is placing blame on a Virginia Beach construction company after he was killed by a bulldozer while on the job.

Brandon Peterson's family said he was trying to get a construction roller for The Miller Group to start when a bulldozer crushed his body Saturday.

"He blew up like a balloon," said Reginald Peterson, Brandon's brother who was also working with him on the job site Saturday.

Reginald told NewsChannel 3 his brother was trying to move the roller out of the bulldozer's path.

"It didn't start, so he got off to go back there and jump start it," said his brother.  "I think he dropped the screw driver and bent down and the man on the bulldozer lost sight of him and just smashed him up against the road."

Reginald Peterson believes his brother would be alive today if the roller did not have a faulty starter.  He said supervisors with M & W Construction, which operates directly under The Miller Group, knew about the problem for weeks.

"If the roller was fixed the proper way, he would have never had no reason to ever be back there," Reginald said.

NewsChannel 3 reached out to The Miller Group President Tim Harkins.  He said there was a problem with the starter on the roller, but he said he did not know how long the company knew about the problem.  He also said the company has been taking Brandon's death pretty hard.

A check of Occupational Safety and Health Administration records shows M & W Construction of Virginia Beach has a history of violations for things like material handling and excavation regulations, but nothing fatal.

OSHA is investigating Brandon Peterson's death.