ADAIR, Iowa --
A crane operator was killed Tuesday while he worked on a bridge project on Interstate 80.
The accident happened at 7:40 a.m. at the site 1 mile west of the Adair exit in western Iowa. Crews are replacing the interstate bridge over the Iowa Interstate Railroad tracks.
Witnesses said the crane started tipping over when the operator was moving a bridge beam. The crane then plunged through the bridge deck onto the train tracks below.
Officials believe a beam that entered the crane's cab hit the operator and killed Dustin Flinn, 27, of Atlantic.
"Somehow as he started to swing the girder he was attached to out machine began to tip and he, rather than drop it, he for some reason chose to stay ahold of it. We don't know why," said Keith Harlin, company spokesman.
Flinn was working for A.M. Cohron & Son Inc., of Clarinda. He has been employeed with the company for 6 years.
Harlin said the Flinn has a family and a 2-year-old daughter.
Commercial tow trucks were brought in to pull the crane back onto the roadway from the tracks below.
Railroad traffic is being diverted around the scene, but interstate traffic was not impacted since the westbound lanes were already closed due to the bridge construction.
The accident remains under investigation by the Iowa State Patrol as well as Cass and Adair County Sheriff's Departments and Adair Fire and Rescue.
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