ST. LOUIS – Shawn Pritchett of Montgomery City, Missouri was killed early Tuesday morning while working on a tunnel project for the Metropolitan Sewer District.
Workers had been digging a four-mile tunnel north of Interstate 44 along Carr Lane Court. The tunnel will run from Shrewsbury to Clayton for a wastewater project that will ultimately hold about 12.5 million gallons of water during heavy rain events.
Pritchett, 35, was working as an oilman, oiling the cranes for the project when the accident happened.
“We knew his job was dangerous. I just never expected it, I guess,” said Breanna Clark, Pritchett’s long-term girlfriend and mother of their four children.
Clark said the family doesn’t know a lot because the investigation is not complete. However, she’s not blaming anyone at this point; just trying to cope with the tragic situation.
Sak Construction, the company employing Pritchett on the project, issued the following statement:
"We do not yet have all the details of this accident, and a thorough investigation is underway. We extend our deepest sympathy to the family of our employee."
A spokesperson for the construction said their main concern is the comfort of Pritchett’s family.
“He was the most loving person I have ever met,” Clark said. “He loved unconditionally. He was a great father.”
Clark said Pritchett was the sole provider to their family.
“He raised them and supported them and that was their dad,” she said. “It’s minute by minute; so hard, so tragic, and my kids lost their dad.”
Pritchett was is described as being very funny.
Clark said Pritchett made her laugh and kissed her goodbye before going to work for the final time. And besides his family, Pritchett’s passions included motorcycles and the brotherhood of his bike club.
“He would always go to work, come home, spend time with the family, and without him here they don't have anything,” said Shianne Jones, Pritchett’s sister.
Loved ones have launched a GoFundMe account to help provide financial support to Pritchett's children. You can also contribute via PayPal under the name of Whitney Powell ("wpowell24").