Man crushed to death while using excavator at Colonna’s Shipyard in Norfolk identified

Posted at 3:19 PM, Mar 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-31 17:17:26-04

Norfolk, Va. - A man died  Monday after he was crushed by an excavator at Colonna's Shipyard.

The wife of the shipyard's owner says he was using the machine to lift a piece of concrete. The concrete slipped out of the crane and fell onto the cab crushing him inside.

The crews found the worker who was pronounced dead at the scene.

He has now been identified as 58-year-old Donald R. Thomas of Chesapeake.

This happened on March 30 at 1:20 p.m.

The owner's wife says he was a very lovable and kind man and worked at the shipyard  for nearly 20  years.

There were no other injuries reported.

Colonna's has had issues with OSHA in the past.

OSHA says the company has $101,00 in proposed penalties and they also found 12 safety violations.

They say workers were repeatedly exposed to life threatening safety and health hazards at the facility.

The shipyard is now contesting those claims.