PLAIN GROVE TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A 48-year-old man is dead after being buried in a trench collapse in Lawrence County Friday afternoon.

Raymond Davis, 48, of Volant, died Friday afternoon in a trench cave-in in the yard of his home along Plain Grove Road in Plain Grove Township, near Slippery Rock.

According to state police, Davis and a family member were working to excavate the trench for a septic system when a sidewall collapsed and buried him.

The trench was about nine to 10 feet in depth.

State police say the family member working with Davis tried to rescue him, but was unsuccessful.

Davis, a widower, was the father of three sons. He and his children moved in with his parents after his wife died.

“He was a loyal customer, a great guy with three children,” said Maria Getz, the owner of a nearby store. “I know his mother and father; they’re my customers and it’s just very sad, I can’t believe this happened.”

The trench cave-in occurred around 3:30 p.m., but Davis’s body wasn’t removed from the trench until after 9 p.m.

It took volunteer firefighters hours to stabilize the ditch with boards because the ground in the area was unstable.

The Lawrence County Deputy Coroner pronounced Davis dead at the scene.

Several people, believed to be relatives of the victim, drove up to a neighbor’s driveway and parked.

They were seen being comforted entering the Davis home as the recovery efforts continued.

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