GRPD: Falling board kills construction worker downtown

Posted at 4:25 PM, Oct 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-20 17:59:33-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.  —  Grand Rapids Police say MiOSHA is investigating after a construction worker in downtown Grand Rapids was fatally struck by a falling board Saturday afternoon.

It happened around 2:03 p.m.  GRPD Lieutenant Pat Merrill tells FOX 17 “a very long board” – approximately 20 feet long, and 2-by-12 inches wide – “came free from somewhere up by the ninth floor” at a building under restoration at 50 Monroe Ave. NW. That’s north of Fulton Street and south of Louis Street.

“”The guy working with him heard a thump, turned around and saw a worker had been hit. But he (the man who turned around) didn’t get a scratch.” Police say the board hit the construction worker in the back and shoulder.

FOX 17 photos

They  blocked traffic while the worker was taken to Mercy Health St. Mary’s Hospital. Lieutenant Merrill says the worker was pronounced dead there at 2:50 p.m.

Police have notified most of the victim’s family. They say he was 48 years old and a Grand Rapids resident. Merrill didn’t know Saturday afternoon which company the construction crew worked for, or how the board came loose.

“MiOsha’s looking into that, we’re just facilitating…it’s not a criminal investigation.”

Merrill says it was the last day of demolition work at the site. Crews had been working to restore the building.