Investigation continues into pipeline death of Minnesota man
BISMARCK -- A 27-year-old man who was fatally injured last week while working on the Dakota Access Pipeline project in western North Dakota was from Grand Rapids, Minn.
BISMARCK - A 27-year-old man who was fatally injured last week while working on the Dakota Access Pipeline project in western North Dakota was from Grand Rapids, Minn.
Rowe Funeral Home in Grand Rapids posted the death notice for Nicholas Jay Janesich late Monday. Funeral arrangements are pending, funeral home director Dave Huso said.
A GoFundMe page set up at www.gofundme.com/nickjay to help his parents pay for medical and funeral expenses had already raised more than $2,700 by late Monday afternoon.
Janesich was working for Chippewa Falls, Wis.-based Indianhead Pipeline Services LLC as a subcontractor on the 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline being installed from the Bakken oilfields to Patoka, Ill.
A foreman found Janesich slumped over in a tractor cab with serious head trauma at about 3:30 p.m. Thursday near Tioga, North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk said.
The foreman and another employee took Janesich to the Tioga hospital. He was later airlifted to a Minot hospital, where he died Saturday.
Indianhead president Jim Rooney said Monday the company's investigation is ongoing.
"Our sympathies are with the family. It's a difficult time for them," he said.
Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, which is developing the $3.8 billion pipeline, notified the PSC about the injured worker Friday as required under its siting permit, Kalk said.
Janesich had been working alone as he prepared the ground over the pipeline for grass seeding, Kalk said, calling it "a terrible accident."
Eric Brooks, director of the Bismarck area office of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said an OSHA team was on site Monday investigating the cause of the injury.
"Whenever you have incidents like this, especially when it's unattended, that seems to be the hardest thing to figure out," he said.
The GoFundMe page said Janesich's job had him operating a tractor on a daily basis, and that the extent of his injuries caused him to slip into a coma.
"Nick passed away peacefully, surrounded by friends and family," it stated.
Work had resumed at the site Monday, but the immediate area around the injury site was fenced off to preserve the scene, Kalk said.
The site is about 200 hundred miles northwest of where hundreds of people are protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline's proposed crossing of the Missouri River near Cannon Ball, just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.