You wouldn’t think a job at Dunkin Donuts would be too dangerous. But a 17-year old high school student on Long Island found out differently.
According to Suffolk county New York (PDF) police, a 24-inch diameter manhole cover gave way under the feet of Amiri Zeqiri while he was taking out trash from the adjacent Dunkin Donuts this past Sunday. The unfortunate teen collapsed into the cesspool beneath him and tragically died. He was working at the store with his 14-year old cousin, who heard screams for help but was unable to recover his cousin in time.
Workers from East Coast Sewer and Drain were draining the cesspool this past Tuesday and found chunks of the manhole cover that fell into the 18 to 20 foot hole.
Considering the teen lost his life in the course of his employment, his family is entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits totaling $50,000, including a $6000 payment from Dunkin Donuts for his funeral. While this $6000 allowance is what the law requires, funerals on Long Island generally cost twice that amount.
Police are continuing to investigate why the manhole cover collapsed – was the cover intact and gave way under Zeqiri’s feet or was it already cracked or broke into pieces and sitting on top of the pipe when he stepped on it. Investigators will examine the rim of the pipe and see if it was damaged, possibly by a snowplow or other vehicle.
While his family suffers with the loss of their son, they will have to come up with the funds to bury him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Zeqiri family at this difficult time.
If you’re injured on-the-job in Colorado or have lost a family member due to an accident while at work, contact Denver workers’ compensation attorney R. Mack Babcock today if you’re having difficulty in obtaining the benefits you need to financially handle the loss.