Bethel Contractor Charged In Connection To Fatal Trench Collapse That Killed Stamford Man: DA

A Connecticut contractor has been criminally charged in connection to a trench collapse at a construction site in New York that killed a 46-year-old man, officials announced.

The collapse happened at a site on Shore Acres Drive in Mamaroneck in 2021, officials said.

The collapse happened at a site on Shore Acres Drive in Mamaroneck in 2021, officials said.

Photo Credit: Google Maps

Fairfield County resident Michael Conway of Bethel, age 59, was arraigned in Westchester County Court on criminal charges in connection to the fatal collapse, which happened in Mamaroneck in May 2021 and killed Stamford resident Jose Vega, the Westchester County District Attorney's Office announced on Monday, Feb. 26. 

Conway is the director of project development for the construction company Lecher Development LLC, officials said. 

According to the DA's Office, on May 4, 2021, around 12:40 p.m., Conway directed two workers to dig a trench at a residential construction site on Shore Acres Drive in Mamaroneck without proper shoring or cave-in protections. Additionally, Conway, the site supervisor, allegedly knew this excavation violated Occupational Health and Safety Administration regulations, which require a trench deeper than five feet to have such cave-in protections, officials said.

This nine-foot unprotected trench then collapsed, completely burying Vega under dirt. He was later pronounced dead at the scene. 

Conway, who was arrested on Friday, Feb. 23, is now charged with: 

  • Criminally negligent homicide, a felony;
  • Two counts of second-degree reckless endangerment. 

Conway's bail was set at $5,000 cash, $10,000 bond, and $25,000 partially-secured bond at 10 percent, officials said. His next court date is Friday, March 22. 

Westchester District Attorney Miriam Rocah said the case is the first of its kind in Westchester. 

"For the first time in Westchester County, we are seeking to hold a contractor accountable for the death of a worker at a construction site that allegedly lacked proper safety measures," Rocah said, adding, "My office will seek justice for the family of Jose Vega and continue to ensure workers’ safety remains a priority across the county to prevent fatalities like this one.”

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