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Family of plumber killed in trench collapse remembers 'hard-working man'

HOUSTON – The victim of a deadly trench collapse Wednesday night in north Houston was identified Thursday as 41-year-old Jack Martin.

Martin, a plumber for Best Plumbing, died two days after his 41st birthday while working on a sewage line just behind the Northtown Plaza Shopping Center.

"He loved his job," said Martin's father, Larry Martin. "He loved his family, and every day we would talk to each other. We would call each other and just joke with each other."

Jack Martin, a dedicated family man, leaves behind a wife and an 18-year-old daughter.

"I have to protect them," Larry Martin said. "I have to make sure they're OK now."

Martin said he visited his son's employer Thursday morning to pick up Jack's belongings. He was also hoping to learn more about the cause of his son's death.

"I just talked to the owner of Best Plumbing, and he said he didn't know what happened," Larry Martin said. "I asked them why they didn't have a shore in there, and he said he didn't know."

Larry Martin, a plumber himself, believes there should have been six or seven people on the job but, instead, it was just his son and an apprentice.

The incident is being investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.