CONCORD (KPIX) — The owner of an East Bay landscaping company is facing two felony charges for the death of an employee in 2018. Prosecutors said Thursday that the worker wasn’t properly trained to use the equipment that killed him.
The Contra Costa County district attorney’s office filed felony complaints against Segundo Collazos who owns Amazon’s Landscaping Company in Concord.
The charges relate to the death of 68-year-old Manuel Peralta of Antioch, who died while operating a tree stump grinder in San Ramon on the morning of April 9, 2018.
The first felony charge alleges the landscaping company permitted Peralta to use a stump grinder contrary to manufacturer recommendations and to work in the danger zone of the cutting wheel.
“Mr. Peralta, the victim, had a rope tied around his waist that was connected to the machine and it’s unclear what happened next but what we do know is that Mr. Peralta tripped and fell into the machine,” said Contra Costa County deputy district attorney Ryan Morris.
The second felony charge alleges that Collazos didn’t properly train Peralta on the proper and safe use of the grinder.
At the time of the incident, Amazon’s Landscaping owner Collazos had a suspended license with the contractors State License Board.
The district attorney’s office says homeowners need to check that contractors are currently licensed before hiring them for residential construction work.
“Licensing ensures that the employer has insurance, that employees are properly trained on how to operate equipment so that incidents like this, hopefully, could be avoided,” deputy DA Morris said.
Homeowners can do a license check on the contractors state license board website.