California

Crane operator charged in deaths of son, other worker

A crane operator faces trial on manslaughter charges in the 2014 deaths of his son and another worker at a Northern California bridge construction site.

Mark Powell was arraigned last month in Yolo County Superior Court on charges of involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of Marcus Zane Powell, 25, and pile driver Glenn Allen Hodgson, 49, The Sacramento Bee reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/2ivJpTF).

The two men plunged 80 feet to their deaths May 30, 2014 when the basket carrying them broke free from a crane that was not certified for lifting, according to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

Mark Powell was operating the crane to repair another crane being used as a drill rig in the construction of the Winters Road Bridge over Putah Creek that connects Yolo and Solano counties.

Disney Construction Inc., based in Burlingame, California, was fined more than $100,000 for workplace violations for the fatal incident.

Powell also faces two felony counts of violating occupational safety or health standards causing death.

He was scheduled to return to a Woodland courtroom Feb. 28 for a trial-setting conference.