An equipment operator died Monday afternoon in a rollover accident near North Pole, according to police and federal officials.
The victim, Melvin C. McLaurin of Chicago, was a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers employee, Corps spokesperson Dena O'Dell said in a statement. McLaurin worked as a lead engineering equipment operator with the Corps' Chicago District; he was on temporary assignment in Alaska, O'Dell said.
McLaurin is survived by his wife and son, O'Dell said.
"The accident occurred at about 3:50 p.m. on the Chena Flood Control Project Road and involved a piece of construction equipment," O'Dell wrote. "The North Pole Police Department, Alaska State Troopers and North Pole Fire Department paramedics responded to the scene. The victim was declared dead at 4:18 p.m. by medical personnel."
O'Dell said McLaurin was working on the Chena River Lakes Flood Control Project, a $200 million dam and levee system built near Fairbanks in the wake of a devastating 1967 flood. Crews were installing relief wells at the time of his death.
"He was operating a roller-compactor on a stability berm," O'Dell said. "It was a single-vehicle rollover."
The accident is being investigated by the Corps and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, O'Dell said.