Contractor Charged With Felony for Death in Trench Collapse

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle contractor has been charged with second-degree manslaughter in the death of an employee who was killed when a sewer trench collapsed in 2016.

The Seattle Times reports Philip Numrich allegedly violated and ignored safety regulations, leading to the collapse of the trench at a West Seattle home in January 2016 that killed 36-year-old Harold Felton.

The state Department of Labor & Industries says it’s believed Numrich is the first employer in state history to face felony charges in connection with an employee’s death.

Numrich was also charged with violation of labor safety regulation with death resulting.

A $20,000 warrant has been issued for his arrest.

A message left on Numrich’s business phone was not returned Tuesday.

Numrich also was fined $51,500 for willful safety violations in the incident. State officials say he appealed and settled, affirming the violations.

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