Fine Proposed on Company in Death at Notre Dame

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – A state agency is proposing $17,500 in fines for five serious violations it found in investigating the death of a man who was struck by a tree while clearing land at the University of Notre Dame.

Twenty-two-year-old Mark Ellisworth of Mishawaka was killed Nov. 21 while clearing land for a parking lot.

The Indiana Department of Labor says Ellisworth's employer, R&R Excavating, failed to ensure workers were organized or spaced properly so someone wouldn't walk into an area where a tree was falling. The Mishawaka company also allegedly did not instruct each employee in how to avoid dangerous situations.

A woman answering the telephone at R&R Excavating on Friday declined comment. The company has 15 days after receiving notification of the proposed fines to either pay or challenge the findings.