‘Proud’ plow truck driver and Waseca native was man fatally injured at MnDOT facility

Family members have identified the man who suffered fatal injuries several days ago at a Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) facility in Waseca as a lifelong resident of southern Minnesota community, officials said Friday.

Brian C. Sommers, 35, died Tuesday afternoon in a work-related incident at the site in the 1500 block of S. State Street, according to his online obituary.

As of Saturday, any specific circumstances surrounding Sommers’ death have yet to be disclosed by the county, MnDOT or police. The state Department of Labor and Industry said the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Division is investigating the death.

Highway officials also have not revealed what operations are carried out at the facility, but a county property records photo shows what appears to be de-icing substance stored there for use on roads and highways.

Police said a caller reported a man was found injured and unresponsive on a piece of equipment. Emergency responders gave aid to him, but he was declared dead at the scene.

Sommers worked on the family dairy farm for most of his life until April 2022, the obituary read. At the time of his death, he was working for the Waseca County Highway Department and “was proud to obtain his [commercial driver’s license] and drive the plow truck,” the obituary continued.

The county said in a Facebook posting Friday that Sommers “touched the lives of so many in our community in so many ways. Whether as a loving husband and father, or a [youth football] coach and coworker, he impacted those around him.”

Sommers excelled in athletics, his obituary noted, pointing out that he still holds the Waseca High School wrestling record for the fastest pin. As a senior, he was the captain of the wrestling and football teams.

His survivors include his wife, Kirsten, whom he met in kindergarten, and their four children, ranging in age from 2 to 11.

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