Man killed in trench collapse identified as retired Conn. firefighter

Dennis Slater was a 29-year member of the Broad Brook FD before retiring, but still helped out at major incidents and fundraisers whenever he could


Ben Crnic
Journal Inquirer, Manchester, Conn.

VERNON, Conn. — The construction worker who died after he was buried in a trench collapse at a construction site in Vernon last week has been identified.

Vernon police said the man was Dennis Slater, 56, of the Broad Brook section of East Windsor.

The collapse occurred at the construction site of a new housing development near Bolton Branch Road.

Slater was buried by dirt that fell on him and was pulled out of the trench by first responders, Lt. Robert Marra said last week. Slater later died from his injuries after being transported to Manchester Hospital, police said.

Slater was a 29-year member of the Broad Brook Fire Department before retiring, but still helped out at major incidents and fundraisers whenever he could, according to a Facebook post from the department.

Shortly after joining the department in 1988, Slater became chief engineer in 1993. In this position, he oversaw the department's fleet so they were always ready to respond to emergencies, the post said.

Additionally, Slater also served as chairman of the department's Board of Directors, parade chairman for the department's annual carnival, chairman for the department's Ladies Night event, and served on many truck committees.

"Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time," the department said in their post, which received an outpouring of grief from those that knew and loved him.

Vernon police detectives and investigators from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating the accident, police said last week.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Vernon Police Department at 860-872-9126.

Ben covers Vernon and Stafford for the Journal Inquirer.

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(c)2022 Journal Inquirer, Manchester, Conn.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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