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Former construction company owner charged in deadly trench collapse pleads guilty

Peter Dillon, 54, was the owner of A4S LLC.

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. — The owner of a Vail construction company who was charged after a deadly trench collapse in Breckenridge pleaded guilty Thursday to reckless manslaughter.

Peter Dillon, 54, was the owner of the now-defunct A4S LLC. He turned himself in to authorities in Summit County in January after an investigation of the November 2021 collapse. 

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Dillon in May 2022 after a worker installing residential sewer pipes died when the trench around him caved in. He was identified as 23-year-old Marlon Alfredo Diaz.

The collapse resulted from deteriorating conditions at the project site, according to OSHA, which the company could have prevented if it has used legally required protection systems.

OSHA issued three willful citations to A4S LLC for not ensuring the excavation was inspected by a competent person, failing to instruct employees on the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and not having a trench protective system in place.

Investigators issued another serious citation for not providing a safe way to climb out, such as a ramp or ladder, within 25 feet of the trench.

OSHA proposed penalties of $449,583 and placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program. The agency also referred the case to the 5th Judicial District Attorney's Office and recommended charges.

A4S LLC has since shut down and Dillon agreed to forfeit any future ownership, leadership or management position that involves trenching or excavation or the oversight of workplace safety and health.

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