Corydon man dies when trench collapses
A Corydon man died yesterday morning (Tuesday) after a construction trench that he was working in collapsed.
Chris Hauswald, 32, was working to place a water line in the trench located off Turley Road just east of Pfrimmer’s Chapel Road, about midway between Corydon and Lanesville, when the accident occurred just after 9 a.m.
Hauswald was pronounced dead at the scene. According to Harrison County Coroner Steve Hamm, he suffocated.
Emergency personnel from multiple agencies worked into the evening to remove Hauswald’s body from the trench.
A volunteer firefighter from New Middletown was the first on the scene yesterday morning and found the victim unconscious and buried up to his head in the trench, said Rick Kerr, chief of the Lanesville Volunteer Fire Dept. who served as incident commander yesterday. Rescue efforts were unsuccessful due to the amount ‘ and weight ‘ of red clay dirt that trapped Hauswald.
The trench, which was not shored, was approximately 10 to 12 feet deep and about six feet wide except where the victim was, which was only a couple of feet wide. One side of the trench collapsed onto Hauswald.
The Louisville Metro Heavy Urban Search and Rescue Team, which includes several Metro Louisville departments, was called to recover the body. Team members completed their task just after 7 last night.
Members of the Lanesville and New Middletown Volunteer Fire departments were assisted by Harrison County Emergency Management Agency, Harrison County EMS, Harrison County Sheriff’s Dept. and Harrison County Coroner’s Office.
During the recovery, Georgetown Fire Dept. was asked to respond to emergency runs for Lanesville.
Born Dec. 21, 1975, in Corydon, he was the son of Darryl and Beverly Melcom Hauswald of Corydon.
He was a 1998 graduate of Purdue University, where he earned a degree in agriculture economics, and was self-employed at Hauswald Farms and Hauswald Excavating in Corydon.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Ray and Edith Hauswald and Almeta Melcom.
Survivors besides his parents include his wife, the former Sally Eckart; a brother, Paul Hauswald of Corydon; and his grandfather, Paul Melcom of Corydon.
Visitation: Friday, Jan. 25, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Gehlbach & Royse Funeral Home in Corydon and Saturday, Jan. 26, after 9 a.m. at Old Capitol United Methodist Church in Corydon.
Funeral: Saturday, Jan. 26, at 11 a.m. at the church followed by burial in Pfrimmer’s Chapel Cemetery east of Corydon.
Pallbearers: Eric Haub, P.J. Chumley, Chris Newton, Jason Stonecipher, Robert Bowers and B.J. DeAth.
The family suggests memorial gifts to the Purdue Foundation, Chris Hauswald Memorial, Purdue Ag. Alumni, 715 W. State St., West Lafayette, IN 47907.