By Jeanne Sager
KENOZA LAKE October 17, 2003 A construction worker narrowly escaped a fatal accident Monday afternoon.
Lane Garrow, 46, was operating an excavator on Route 52A in Kenoza Lake when he made a costly error.
He went to go forward, and he went backward instead, said NY State Trooper Troy Parucki.
Garrows excavator slid backwards into a hole nearly 10 feet deep where hed been working on a culvert.
His body slipped out of the open door of the machinery and was pinned by the excavator on top of a piece of blacktop.
He was very lucky, Parucki said. He didnt get hit in the head.
Instead, Garrow remained conscious as rescue workers from the Jeffersonville First Aid Squad as well as the Hortonville, Kenoza Lake, Youngsville and Jeffersonville fire departments chipped away at the chunk of blacktop below his body to free his legs from the hefty weight of the excavator.
Luckily, hes OK, Parucki said. It could have been just the opposite if hed gone just a couple of inches more, it could have been fatal.
Thats why they call them accidents.
StatFlight was brought in and landed on an open field beside the roadway, and once Garrow was extricated, he was immediately airlifted to Westchester Medical Center.
Garrow, a resident of Harrisville, is employed by Green Island Construction of Glenmont, the company contracted by the state to do some work on culverts along Routes 52 and 52A where the NYS Department of Transportation has been reconstructing the road shoulder and installing new guardrails.
According to Kate Zenzel, a public information officer for NYSDOT, the accident has been noted as operator error.
Its not due to any unsafe driving practices, she said. Its just an unfortunate accident.
After Garrows rescue, the construction workers and folks on the scene from Prestige Towing of Monticello and Roches Garage of Callicoon set upon the long job of pulling the excavator out of the roadway.