The case file contained notes from Cal/OSHA interviews with crew members and other officials, and it was the primary document used by the Weekly to determine and describe what happened on the day of the accident.
The citations that Cal/OSHA issued against the city provided insight into what the agency viewed as the primary causes of the accident.
Obtaining information from city administrators about the fatal incident proved challenging. Reporter Gennady Sheyner asked for an interview with City Manager Ed Shikada and Utilities Director Dean Batchelor and was told they would not speak about the accident or past practices due to the city's pending appeal of the Cal/OSHA citations. That included comment on what the city's own investigation of the accident entailed and what it concluded. (They did, however, speak to current safety practices.)
To depict the actions the city took in response to the fatal incident, the Weekly cited public statements made by city officials, as well as emails obtained through a Public Records Act request.
To get insight into the city's position, the Weekly relied on its appeals of the Cal/OSHA citations as well on documents relating to the city's settlement with the family of Donatus Okhomina.
The Weekly also reached out to members of the Nov. 16, 2019 utilities crew and requested an interview with them, a request that the city denied.
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