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Construction Worker Warned Of Dangerous Conditions Day Before Deadly NJ Accident, Family Says

Drew Arntz, 55, of Allentown, PA.
Drew Arntz, 55, of Allentown, PA. Photo Credit: Courtesy: Dawn Arntz

On Jan. 27, Drew Arntz told his family that the conditions at the Linden construction site he was working on were becoming too dangerous, according to his sister, Dawn Arntz.

The following day, he died when his machine fell into icy waters, leaving him trapped in a pocket of air for nearly an hour.

Drew, 55, of Allentown, PA, was being remembered by his sister as a "good man who loved life."

Still, Dawn told Daily Voice, "he wanted off this job."

Simpson and Brown Inc., of Cranford, was identified by OSHA as the employer. The company is also currently being investigated by OSHA for an employee injury in an excavation on Aug. 25, 2020, OSHA spokesperson Lenore Fortson-Uddyback said.

The company did not immediately return Daily Voice's request for comment.

Drew had been operating an excavator when the machine fell into the Arthur Kill River Channel around 8 a.m. on Jan. 28, Linden police previously said in a release.

Drew was removed from the machine cab sometime around 9 a.m. by NYPD aviation divers, after having waited for help in a small pocket of air, authorities said. 

He was rushed to Trinitas Regional Medical Center, and later pronounced dead.

"He warned my mom it was getting too dangerous and conditions were bad," Drew's sister, Dawn, told Daily Voice "Next day he dies. He wanted off this job."

Drew had worked with Local 825 International Engineers out of Springfield, NJ, Dawn said.

"He was very safe and careful," Dawn said.

A Facebook post by Drew's union garnered nearly 300 comments from friends and colleagues.

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