California Construction Accidents
A construction worker was sadly injured today. He fell about twenty-five foot into a concrete cistern at a construction site in Los Angeles.
According to Margaret Stewart from the Los Angeles Fire Department, the accident was reported around 2:25 p.m.
There was a search and rescue team that was able to finally reach the thirty year old man around 3:45 p.m. they were able to pull him out of the cistern.
The man was alert, however he was in severe pain. He suffered from lower extremity injuries.
He had to be taken to the local hospital to be treated and was evaluated for other possible injuries.
Construction Truck Crash
There was a terrible accident on Monday, which caused some investigation. On Tuesday authorities were able to shed some light on the tragic 911 calls that took place.
There was a runaway construction truck that barreled down a hill. The Truck ended up killing a five year old boy.
The local news would not air the calls because of the graphic nature of the calls as well as respect to the family.
The transcript was so heartbreaking. It was the call from William Everett Copeland, who is the father of the deceased child.
Other calls came flying in and one of the received transcripts was from an angry neighbor who was trying to find out the identity of the driver.
Local investigators confirmed that the accident took place on Dogwood Bloom Lane. This is a new, upcoming neighborhood not far from the U.S. 70. There are some home that are still under construction.
Forest Ridge Construction Accident
Crescent Communities are the developer of the area. Forest Ridge say that they will have around 230 homes. 50 of them are now completed.
Just after lunch construction crews had to load the back of the truck when it started to roll. No one was inside the cab of the vehicle. The truck started to gain speed as it was going down the hill. The truck crashed through a front yard, driveway, and then a garage door.
A group of children were playing in the driveway of the five year old boy’s home. The little boy went by the name of Everett. Sadly, he could not get out of the way of the truck though. The truck hit him then crashed into a home.
One of the neighbors tried to help the little boy by preforming CPR until the emergency crews could get to the scene.
Hillsborough Police Chief Duane Hampton said Everett was rushed to Duke University Hospital, but did not survive.
Alejandro Suarez, 28, of Angier, is charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle. Police said he was responsible for the control of the vehicle. He was taken to the Orange County Jail and is being held on a $10,000 bond.
According to North Carolina law, if found guilty, Suarez’s misdemeanor death by motor vehicle charge could result in jail time of up to 60 days if this is his first conviction. The penalty also comes with a fine, which will be at the discretion of the court and likely under $1,000.
Even though Suarez was not behind the wheel of the truck as it struck the boy, he was named as the responsible party. A legal expert says the court can find Suarez responsible of gross negligence.
“At this point, we don’t believe the vehicle was properly secured,” said Chief Hampton. “We will also be following up the investigation, looking at the mechanical condition of the vehicle and confirming all of the working relationships, regarding specifically which company the crew was working for.”
As for Suarez and his employer, investigators concede there are many layers of responsibility when it comes to construction. The land developer, Charlotte-based Crescent Communities, sells lots to several home builders and designers. Those designers then hire several companies tailored individually to their trades: plumbing, electric, roofing, siding, kitchen, bath, and more.
In a statement to ABC11, Crescent Communities spokesman Tony Wilbert said:
Crescent Communities is saddened by the accident and child’s death today at the Forest Ridge community in Hillsborough. The accident involved construction equipment operated by a contractor hired by one of the community’s homebuilders. Because Hillsborough police have charged another company’s employee in the death, Crescent cannot comment on the actual events or criminal case. We are closely monitoring the situation and cooperating with authorities. Crescent cannot express strongly enough our sympathies for the child’s family and friends.
Wilbert later sent an update to ABC11, asserting that Suarez was not hired by Crescent or any of its affiliates, and thus was hired by one of the companies down the chain. Crescent management is also working with local officials to halt all construction work out of respect to the family and the ongoing investigation.
Calls to several developers currently into construction in the Forest Ridge community went unanswered Tuesday and emails were not returned.
Friends have set up a GoFundMe page for the boy’s parents to help with funeral expenses.
Daniel A. Gibalevich
DAG Law Firm