Santa Rosa man killed in excavator accident was working for uncle’s business

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A Santa Rosa man who was crushed by an excavator while working on an in-ground pool Monday was driving out of the hole when a ramp caved, tipping over the heavy equipment, a fire official said.

Cody McBride, 23, had been working on the bottom of the pool when he attempted to exit the dirt hole, Glen Ellen fire Capt. Dan Pierce said on Tuesday.

“He came up the ramp and turned to make it all the way up and out and the downhill side caved in,” Pierce said.

The excavator rolled, landing on McBride. He tried to jump out of the equipment before it landed on him, said John Fetcko, his uncle and owner of A Plus Pool and Spa, which was hired to finish building a pool on a Garric Street property in Glen Ellen.

“The hole already was excavated. We were just doing cleanup,” Fetcko said.

He said his nephew, who grew up in Santa Rosa and graduated from Montgomery High School, where he played football, was an important member of the business.

“He was the other half of the business,” Fetcko said. “Even when he was in high school, he would work with me.”

Fetcko said McBride’s father, Sean, also was in the pool construction business. So was his grandfather.

“He grew up in the business,” said the uncle, who lived next door to his nephew for much of his life and was close to him.

He said his nephew, the youngest of two children, wanted to be a park ranger and studied at Santa Rosa Junior College before deciding to return to the pool business.

His passion, however, was in competitive rock crawling, an extreme form of off-road driving. He and his father had won third place at a competition this past weekend in Sacramento, Fetcko said.

“He was too young to have this happen to him,” Fetcko said about the excavator accident, which he witnessed.

At 3:16 p.m. Monday, firefighters were called to the scene — a residential street just a few blocks from the fire station — for an extrication case. A medical helicopter also was called but within minutes it was canceled when paramedics determined the man had died.

McBride apparently hadn’t been wearing a seat belt and the pool company owner told firefighters perhaps he’d undone it in an attempt to jump from the vehicle as it started to tip, Pierce said.

Cal-OSHA officials are investigating the accident, which was reported to them around 4 p.m. Monday by the Glen Ellen Fire Department, according to an agency spokeswoman.

The agency was unable to provide further details on the accident or whether the pool construction company had been previously cited for safety violations.

Cal-OSHA officials have up to six months to complete their investigation.

You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 521-5412 or randi.rossmann@pressdemocrat.com or Twitter@rossmannreport. You can reach Staff Writer Eloísa Ruano González at 521-5458 or eloisa.gonzalez @pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @eloisanews.

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