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Logan Airport worker’s death likely an accident

Authorities said Tuesday that it appears the death of a private company worker at Logan International Airport Monday night was an accident and not the result of a criminal act.

In a statement, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley's office said the victim was a 59-year-old Melrose man.

Ed Freni, Massport's director of aviation, said in a statement that Signature Flight Support employee Herbert Upton was fatally injured in the accident.

"On behalf of the Logan Airport community, I want to extend my condolences to the family of Herbert Upton," Freni said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and co-workers."


Signature Flight Support operates at 100 airports worldwide, according to the company's website. Spokesman Patrick D. Sniffen said the company would not discuss the accident or its employee, citing the ongoing investigation and the privacy of his relatives.

According to prosecutors, Upton and a co-worker were working on the tarmac at Logan's north cargo area around 7:30 p.m. on Monday. The co-worker was behind the wheel of a Ford F-350, modified for work at an airport, and started driving the truck in reverse.

Upton, standing behind the truck, was struck by the vehicle and suffered fatal injuries at the scene, prosecutors said.

The driver was overcome with grief and shock and was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital, prosecutors said.

The driver underwent mandatory drug and alcohol testing, but investigators will have to get a court order before obtaining the results. His cellphone was also seized.

While the investigation is continuing, prosecutors concluded that there "was no immediate indication that the driver was impaired or distracted."

John Ellement can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.