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Sheriff crime scene

A man died Tuesday evening at Knife River construction on Shiloh Road, where the company's Billings headquarters is located.

Justin Cruea, a 28-year-old Laurel man, died while working on a truck, Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder said.

Cruea went out to change a wiper blade on a truck, said Tony Spilde, a spokesman for MDU Resources Group, Knife River's parent company. A co-worker later found him slumped between a front bumper and tire of the truck and called 911.

Emergency responders went to the scene at about 5:23 p.m. Tuesday but were unable to revive Cruea.

An autopsy Wednesday morning determined the cause of death to be positional asphyxia, which refers to a body position that restricts breathing. His position after falling between the bumper and tire likely cut off Cruea's air flow, Linder said in a release.

"We lost a team member Tuesday evening, which is a tragic loss for us and is absolutely heartbreaking for his family," Spilde said in a statement on Wednesday.

Linder said there is no evidence of foul play.


General Assignment Reporter

Reporter for The Billings Gazette.