Crane Disaster Takes Another Life

Feb. 19, 2004
Arden Clark, a 47-year-old ironworker critically injured on Feb. 16 in the collapse of a crane on a stretch of I-280 in Toledo, Ohio, gave up his fight for life on Feb. 18.

Three other men Robert Lipinski Jr., Mike Moreau and Mike Phillips were killed and four others Mark Buck, Josh Collins, Al Hedge and Roger Henneman were injured in the worst construction accident to occur in the area in years. Collins and Henneman are listed in serious condition; Hedge is listed in fair condition; and Buck was released from the hospital on Feb. 17.

OSHA investigators toured the site for the first time on Feb. 18 and began their interviews with workers. OSHA was unable to gain access to the site until the coroner's office completed its investigation. The Toledo Blade reported that the OSHA investigators will be joined by Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc., a Chicago-area accident investigation firm hired by Fru-Con, the Ballwin, Mo.-based general contractor.

The northbound lanes of I-280 where the crane collapsed and the workers were injured and killed will remain closed until OSHA and other investigators have gathered the evidence they need. The Ohio Department of Transportation reopened the southbound lanes of I-280 on Feb. 18.

Before OSHA investigators entered the accident scene, the agency conducted a site safety assessment, said Area Director Jule Jones. The agency wanted "to ensure our investigation could proceed in a safe manner."

Work resumed on the bridge project on Feb. 18. There are approximately 300 construction workers on the $220 million highway construction project, along with 40 engineers and inspectors from the Ohio Department of Transportation.

About 300 Fru-Con and subcontractor employees, along with 40 ODOT engineers, inspectors, and other staff, are involved in the bridge project.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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