Construction worker who fell 60-70 feet on 520 Bridge dies of injuries

SEATTLE (AP) -- A construction worker who fell 60 to 70 feet from the State Route 520 Bridge project Thursday died of his injuries, officials said.

Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Gregg said Thursday night that the man was brought to the hospital in "very, very critical condition" and died shortly after arrival. He was not immediately identified.

Washington state Transportation Department spokesman Ian Sterling says the worker was on top of the east highrise for the new bridge, where fixed highway spans extend toward the future floating bridge.

The Bellevue Fire Department said the worker fell 60 to 70 feet and that CPR was performed on the victim at the scene.

Washington State Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson issued this statement on the accident:

“This evening, I received the call I hoped I would never get as Secretary of Transportation. The call informed me about a loss of life on one of our construction projects.

I speak for everyone at WSDOT when I say our thoughts and prayers are with the contractor’s employee’s family and colleagues for their loss.

I’ve directed our WSDOT team to have employee assistance personnel and peer trauma support on site tomorrow to help anyone who might need assistance with this tragedy.”

A statement from the project contractor Kiewit-General Manson on the accident:

An employee of Kiewit-General-Manson passed away Thursday evening of injuries received as the result of a fall on the SR 520 Floating Bridge and Landings project. The safety of our employees is our most fundamental value and top priority. We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with our employee's family and many friends. Kiewit-General-Manson is investigating the incident and working with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, Department of Transportation, and other appropriate agencies.

Sterling said that all work has been suspended Friday at the construction side at the East approach to the bridge.