Eutaw street and sewer worker loses his life during plumbing repair work in Branch Heights

On Tuesday afternoon, April 25, 2023, Mr. Tony Rice, a Eutaw City employee, lost his life as he and co-workers attempted to repair water/sewer lines in the William M. Branch Heights subdivision. Rice and other city workers were helping dig a hole at the community center in Eutaw when it collapsed, prompting a multi-agency rescue effort Tuesday night. According to the Eutaw Ambulance service this was the scene of a heavy technical rescue. Reportedly two other workers were injured requiring medical attention.
Seemingly the City of Eutaw nor the County had adequate equipment to conduct a successful rescue when the indecent occurred. The Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Team was called in to assist with its equipment. After 4:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, the body of the 46 year-old city worker was recovered.
The following statement was released by Eutaw City Mayor, Latasha Johnson.
“The City of Eutaw is saddened at the loss of a hard worker and great friend. Tony Rice was a dedicated worker who has served the City of Eutaw for many years. Our public works employees are first responders who’s daily responsibilities are to maintain public infrastructure like roads and utilities. No one ever wants to have to deal with a situation like this, and no one ever thinks it will happen to them. Over the next several days there will be more questions than answers as we move through all of the official processes and also deal with heavy hearts and sadness at a loss of someone who’s close to you. We will forever miss Tony’s smiling face and energy. We would ask for your thoughts and prayers during this time as we are all grieving. Out of respect for the family, out of concern for the rest of the Team Eutaw family, and due to the nature of the circumstances we are not going to be able to provide additional comments at this time. “

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