Jerry Hurley was an employee of Austin & Bednash Construction, Inc. of Newark.
The Middletown Fire Department says Hurley was using an excavator to dig a hole next to a trench that had filled with water.
Hurley got out of the excavator to inspect the work and the ground gave way beneath him.
It took rescue workers 6 hours to recover his body because the ground was unstable.
The construction site is behind a movie theater building built on Garden Gate Drive.