Manitoba man named as worker killed at Alberta Suncor site
37-year-old Darren Baker was a long-time volunteer firefighter in Morden, Man.
A Manitoba man is the fourth death at a Suncor job site in Alberta's oil fields since January.
Darren Baker, 37, died in an accident around noon Monday in Fort McMurray.
The heavy-machinery mechanic was doing routine maintenance on a bulldozer in Alberta when an engine plate detached, striking him in the head. He died in hospital.
Morden Fire Chief Andy Thiessen said he got the call Monday that Baker, a 15-year veteran of Morden's Volunteer Fire Department, had died.
Thiessen said the news hit hard.
"We always used to say he was invincible, but not quite," he said.
Thiessen said Baker's nickname was 'Bull.'
"This is his coat," he said, hoisting the heavy-duty gear firefighters wear. "He has a size 58 chest," he said.
"He was a massive man but with a heart of gold, really," he said.
Traces of Baker can be found throughout the fire hall. There's a fire truck he picked out in Pennsylvania, and a quad he persuaded the fire department to get.
Baker had been working in the oil fields, two weeks on and two weeks back home, for the last 6 years.
His death is raising questions about job site safety at Suncor.
The four deaths since January at the Suncor site are not believed to be linked, but the province's Occupational Health and Safety is investigating.
"We are devastated by this news and deeply saddened by the terrible and unexpected loss of our co-worker and friend." it read in part.
Thiessen said he doesn't blame Suncor.
"Darren talked about it quite often, where the job site was shut down because a guy cut his hand," he said. "They're very safety orientated, I know that."
The fire chief is instead focusing on Baker's legacy. Thiessen said Baker's name will stay on the rack, above his firefighter's coat and boots at the ready.
Thiessen has special plans for Baker's helmet, though.
"I want to present this to his daughter," he said.
Thiessen said it will serve as a memory of a man who lived to help others.