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Published December 23, 2011, 10:17 AM

MnDOT pays $30,000 penalty in worker's death

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Department of Transportation has paid a $30,000 penalty for serious safety violations in the death of a worker clearing floodwaters last spring.

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Department of Transportation has paid a $30,000 penalty for serious safety violations in the death of a worker clearing floodwaters last spring.

Thirty-nine-year-old Michael Struck, of Cleveland, Minn., died March 22 when he was swept away as he used a backhoe to clear debris from culverts along Highway 169 near St. Peter. The tractor slid into a creek and the current pulled him through a culvert. His body was found the next day.

The Free Press of Mankato reported Friday (http://bit.ly/sPoPRe) that the state's Occupational Safety and Health Division determined that MnDOT failed to ensure the backhoe was safely positioned and failed to ensure Struck was wearing a life jacket while working next to floodwaters.

MnDOT says it has changed its practices to ensure it doesn't happen again.

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