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6/11/2013
Oregon OSHA investigating teen's death in truck repair accident
By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer

Police have turned the investigation of the death of a 17-year-old diesel mechanic over to the state’s office for workplace safety.

Nikolay Kozhokar died on June 5 when he was crushed by a semi-truck he was working on at a repair shop in Portland, according to information on the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s website.  

The website states that the victim “was lying under the right front wheel of the semi-truck, apparently adjusting or checking the brake.” The report states “the owner” got in the driver’s seat of the truck and was attempting to start the vehicle when it lurched forward, crushing the victim under the right front wheel.

Melanie Mesaros, a spokeswoman for the Oregon OSHA office, said the agency would not comment on any specifics of the investigation until it has been completed. Mesaros said that process could take up to six months.

“We are investigating it as a workplace accident,” she said. “Much like a police investigation, some of the things we are looking at are the equipment, the scene, and we also do interviews with employees.”

Mesaros said the agency’s jurisdiction covers workplace safety and, based on the results of the investigation, it has the ability to issue citations.

“We look at what potential rules may have been violated,” she said. “Depending on what the investigation results in, we can issue a citation and it becomes public record.”

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