By Dave Schwab
A 29-year-old man received minor injuries Monday when the backhoe he was operating on a Muirlands construction site backlot toppled over and fell partially down a steep canyon.
According to a neighbor living near the scene, two fire trucks and two police cars responded to the accident at 6125 Terryhill Drive which occurred about 10:30 a.m.
Lt. Jim Filley of the San Diego Police Department identified the operator of the backhoe as Juan Carlos Feriatorres.
“He doesn’t have a license to operate that equipment,” said Filley, adding Feriatorres escaped from the accident “with bumps and bruises but nothing that required hospitalization.”
“He got too close to the edge of the embankment and down he went,” added Filley. “I’m guessing he jumped off the thing.”
Filley said it will be the responsibility of the general contractor, who was not identified, to remove the heavy equipment from the canyon, which he added may not be an easy task.
“That thing is buried pretty well down the hill,” he said. “These things aren’t light.”
Peter Economy, who lives a couple doors down, said a home inhabited by an older couple previously burned down on the site. He said one of the occupants subsequently died from injuries they sustained in the fire. He added the property lay vacant for a couple of years before being sold to a new owner.
“Six months ago they finally scraped the lot and someone is developing it, building a house,” Economy said.