Ark City identifies city employee killed in workplace accident

Published: Dec. 21, 2017 at 5:06 PM CST
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Update Friday, Dec. 22:

The City of Ark City Friday identified the city employee who died from his injuries in a workplace accident Thursday as Marc A. Tapia, 53.

"I am saddened by this tragic loss," Ark City Mayor Dan Jurkovich says. “I am told Marc was always smiling and gave more than he received. He will be greatly missed. My prayer is that God will provide the comfort his family needs.”

The city says the accident that killed Tapia happened about 1:43 p.m. Thursday "within the shop premises on a concrete pad used to wash out vehicles. It says Tapia was outside the street sweeper, washing it off when the accident happened.

"A Kansas Department of Corrections inmate laborer entered the cab of the street sweeper to clean it while Tapia was cleaning the outside of the vehicle," the city says. "At some point, the vehicle began to move in reverse. The exact cause of this is still under investigation by the Ark City Police Department."

The city says the street sweeper collided with a pickup truck and Tapia was injured between the two vehicles.

The results of the investigation from the Ark City Police Department will be reviewed by the Cowley County Attorney's Office, the city says.

The city says Tapia worked as a public services maintenance worker for nearly two-and-one-half years. It says Tapia was performing maintenance as the operator of a street sweeper vehicle when the accident occurred.

Prior to working in Ark City's Public Services Division in August 2015, the city says Tapia worked as a wastewater treatment plant operator in the Environmental Services Division.

“Marc was a wonderful asset to the city — a hard-working, cheerful, dedicated employee who always had a smile on his face,” says City Manager Nick Hernandez. “More important, he was simply a wonderful person. The grief and loss suffered Thursday were not just by his immediate family, but also his extended work family here at the City of Arkansas City.”

Tapia is survived by his wife and two adult sons. The city says funeral arrangements are underway.

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Update: An employee with the City of Ark City has died from injuries sustained in a workplace accident Thursday afternoon.

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An employee with the City of Ark City was taken to a Wichita hospital in critical condition after reportedly being hit by a street sweeper Thursday afternoon.

The City of Ark City says the workplace accident involving a street sweeper operator happened about 1:43 p.m. at the Public Works Department central shop.

"The employee was transported by ambulance to South Central Kansas Medical Center in critical condition and subsequently transferred by ambulance to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita," the city says.

The city says Ark City Fire-EMS responded to the shop in the 1400 block of W. Madison Ave. in response to a report of a pedestrian who had been struck by a street sweeper.

"It was determined that the accident occurred within the shop premises and involved the operator of the street sweeper," the city says. "No one else was injured. The exact cause of the accident is still being investigated."

The city says paramedics stabilized the employee, who initially was not breathing at the scene.

The city says the Ark City Police Department is investigating the accident and the employee's name is not being released, pending further investigation.