Excavation Supervisor Convicted in Death of Worker at Meatpacking Site

MEATPACKING DISTRICT — The excavation supervisor on site when a young worker was killed at a Ninth Avenue construction site last year was convicted of criminally negligent homicide on Friday, authorities said.Wilmer Cueva, 51, had been warned multiple times the morning of April 6, 2015, before the excavation pit he was supervising at 9-19 Ninth Ave. caved in and buried one of his own employees alive.

The employee, 22-year-old Carlos Moncayo, was crushed to death in a 14-foot trench that was not properly supported, investigators said.

Moncayo’s death prompted the city to form a construction task force led by Assistant District Attorney Diana Florence of the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, in collaboration with the city’s Department of Investigation.

► READ MORE: Contractors Charged in Death of Worker ‘Buried Alive’ at Construction Site

The construction site at 9-19 Ninth Avenue on April 6, 2015, the day 22-year-old construction worker Carlos Moncayo was crushed to death.

Earlier this year, Florence successfully prosecuted the contractor responsible for the site, Harco Construction, leading to a conviction in June of second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

► READ MORE: Construction Company Guilty of Manslaughter in Death of Worker

“Today’s verdict continues to demonstrate to the construction industry and to supervisors on construction sites that putting lives at risk by cutting corners and compromising safety will have serious consequences,” DOI Commissioner Mark Peters said Friday. “This tragic death was preventable, had Cueva stood up for integrity and ensured workers were removed from the dangerous conditions.”

Cases against the company Cueva worked for, Sky Materials, and Harco’s foreman on the job, Alfonso Prestia, are still pending.

Harco was sentenced to finance a public service announcement in print and video for worker safety, but the company’s lawyer refused to comply with the sentence.

► READ MORE: ‘We Will Not Obey’ Sentence in Worker Death, Construction Co. Tells Judge

Harco is due back in court in December.

Friday Safety Fails

Friday safety fails, epic what not to do and pictures to use in your trainings to show employees how important safety really is to their lives and lives of others.

Let’s take the next step and work together