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Inquest begins into Sudbury contractor's death

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It was emotional at times for the family of 59-year-old Ronald Lepage as the inquest into his death began.

Ron 'Ronnie' Lepage was killed after a workplace accident involving a dump truck at Vale's Copper Cliff mine site. (Cooperative Funeral Home)Lepage was working in April 2017 at the Copper Cliff refinery on Vale property. He was driving a dump truck when there was an incident with the liftgate.

Staff Sgt. Adam Walden testified his officer was told by Lepage that he had gotten out to inspect the gate when he heard air coming from underneath.

He went to check the situation when the truck lurched forward, pinning him underneath the vehicle.

It took first responders 45 minutes to free him from the situation.

"I got to see him, he was underneath the truck. He was talking and they were trying to lift it up and they weren't having any success at first," said his brother Tim, who worked with him at Cecchetto & Sons.

Tim, who worked as a heavy-duty mechanic, testified he was at the shop when he received the call that there had been an incident.

A co-worker drove him over to Vale to see his brother and then over to the hospital where Lepage later died from his critical injuries.

Due to Ontario law, the coroner must hold an inquest to look into the cause of death and what final recommendations can be made. In Lepage's case, they've convened a jury.

Crown counsel plans on calling 14 witnesses over a five-day period and a jury will make the final determination regarding his death.

Along with Walden and Lepage's brother, a health and safety expert testified along with an inspector from the Ministry of Labour on Monday.

Walden testified officers on the scene had found no level of criminality and no charges had been laid at the time.

Lepage left behind two adult children and two grandchildren, whom he had met a short time before the incident.

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