Worker Killed At School When Saw Cuts Neck

Police: Man Jumped Out Of Trench, Collapsed

A construction worker died Friday at Tri-West High School when a power saw he was using to cut pipe accidentally struck him in the neck, police said.

The Hendricks County Sheriff's Department said James Mendenhall, 39, of Indianapolis, was in an 8-foot trench cutting an old water main when the saw kicked back and cut him at about 8:30 a.m.

The victim climbed out of the trench, but collapsed a few feet away and was pronounced dead at the scene, said Hendricks County sheriff's Lt. Jim Yetter.

The man worked for Simmons Company, which is aiding in the construction of an addition at the school, in the 7800 block of State Road 39, about 20 miles west of Indianapolis.

Police said staff and students were told that there was an accident involving a worker but that school continued for the day.

The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration was also investigating.