Procession held to honor longtime Belle Plaine firefighter, MnDOT employee killed in work accident

A day after a longtime Belle Plaine firefighter died in a work accident, the community scheduled a procession to pay him respect.

Lt. Michael Gau, a 23-year veteran of the volunteer fire department, died in a work accident Wednesday, according to the Belle Plaine Fire Department Relief Association.

On Thursday, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner identified Gau, 54, as the man who was struck and killed by a dump truck Wednesday evening at a construction site in Plymouth near the intersection of Rockford Road and Nathan Lane.

To honor him, the city scheduled a procession that ran from Minnetonka, headed east on Highway 62 to Interstate 494, then took Highway 169 south to Belle Plaine’s Main Street before proceeding down Walnut Street and State Street to get to Kolden Funeral Home.

Several other departments paid their respects as well, with Henderson Fire and Rescue saying that Gau “could usually be located by following the laughs on a fire ground. He will be greatly missed.”

“Rest easy Mike, we’ll take it from here,” the department added.

Early Friday morning, the Minnesota Department of Transportation told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the agency has notified MNOSHA to begin an investigation into the crash, which happened Wednesday morning on Rockford Road and Highway 169 project in Plymouth.

An agency spokesperson says the department is supporting Gau’s colleagues and family.