A 62-year-old Idaho Transportation Department employee was unclogging the augers of a rotary snowplow Tuesday morning when he was dragged into the machine, according to Boise County Deputy Coroner Mike Johnson.
The man, identified by ITD as Byran Bidegain, died at the scene from blunt force trauma, Johnson said.
State transportation department officials released this statement:
“Tragically the Idaho Transportation Department lost a family member this morning. Byran Bidegain, a maintenance worker from the Idaho City area, died on the job near Idaho 21. Byran was a dedicated employee, friend and colleague. We send our deepest condolences and ask the public respect his family and colleagues as they cope with his loss.”
ITD spokesman Vince Trimboli said Bidegain, who lived in Idaho City, worked for the department for about five years as a transportation technician.
The accident happened before 10 a.m. on Idaho 21 at the Mores Creek Summit park and ski lot.
Johnson said snowmobilers saw the man working on the snowplow and a few minutes later discovered that he’d been fatally injured.
Idaho State Police are investigating. ISP Captain Bill Gardiner said Tuesday afternoon that he had few details because the trooper investigating the incident was still at the scene.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration won’t be investigating because it has jurisdiction over only private and federal employees.
Dave Kearns, OSHA area director, said he hopes that ITD does an investigation to find out exactly what happened — and to figure out how to prevent such an accident from occurring again.
Johnson said an autopsy will be conducted.