HENDRICKS COUNTY, Ind. — A Hendricks County Highway Department employee died on Wednesday morning after being struck by a large piece of excavating equipment while working on a job site.

According to the Hendricks County Sheriff’s Department, the accident occurred around 9:45 a.m. near a rural intersection at County Road 450 South and 675 W, just east of Coatesville on a road commonly called Amo/Coatesville Road.

The deceased was identified by authorities as 61-year-old David Appleby of Clayton.

Investigators said the highway department was working near the rural intersection using a large piece of equipment commonly used for excavating draining ditches along roadways. Appleby was working as a safety flagger, investigators said, but for an unknown reason he reportedly stepped behind the piece of equipment as it was slowly backing up.

Appleby was struck and killed by the equipment, the sheriff’s department said.

“Dave was a valued employee that had been with the highway department for more than 30 years,” said Curt Higginbotham, superintendent of the Hendrick’s County Highway Department. “We are sad about the events that took place today.”

The operator of the equipment that struck Appleby is cooperating fully with the investigation, according to the sheriff’s department. There is no indication of alcohol or other intoxicants being a factor in the accident.