S.D. worker falls from Interstate 94 overpass near MedinaA South Dakota man died Monday after he fell while working on an Interstate 94 overpass construction project near Medina, N.D., according to Stutsman County Sheriff Dave Orr.
By: By Katie Ryan, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
A South Dakota man died Monday after he fell while working on an Interstate 94 overpass construction project near Medina, N.D., according to Stutsman County Sheriff Dave Orr.
Carl Joseph Jensen, 59, Bruce, S.D., was laying a tarp over recently poured concrete around 2:45 p.m. Monday when the accident happened, Orr said. A gust of wind caught the tarp, knocking Jensen through the wooden safety rail.
Jensen fell about 20 feet onto the shoulder of the roadway and landed on his head, Orr said. He was transported to Jamestown Hospital and pronounced dead on arrival, Orr said.
The workers there laid tarp over the concrete to keep it from drying, said Paul Diederich, president of Industrial Builders based out of West Fargo, N.D.
About 11 employees were also laying fabric at the time of the accident. Three of them were also knocked into the rail, Diederich said.
“It was just a freak, freak wind. It caught weird,” he said.
Wind gusts exceeded 35 mph Monday, according to the National Weather Service.
Jensen and his brother Chris have worked for Industrial Builders since 2001. Chris was also working on site at the time of the accident, Diederich said.
“It’s a horrible tragedy. He was a very valuable employee,” Diederich said.
The crew is continuing to work on the overpass and counseling for employees is available, Diederich said. Industrial Builders has done projects like these since 1953, he said, and nothing like this has happened before.
Deiderich said representatives from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were on site investigating Tuesday. OSHA could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.
Sun reporter Katie Ryan can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by e-mail at email@example.com