Steel Worker Dies at New 49ers Stadium, 2nd Death in 4 Months

By Lisa Fernandez
|  Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013  |  Updated 2:03 PM CDT
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A 60-year-old driver for a steel company died Monday when rebar fell on him as he was delivering materials to the contruction site of Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. Kris Sanchez reports.

A 60-year-old driver for a steel company died Monday when rebar fell on him as he was delivering materials to the contruction site of Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. Kris Sanchez reports.

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RAW VIDEO: Aeriel View of Levi's Stadium After Steel Worker Dies

Emergency crews responded to an industrial accident Monday reported at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.
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A 60-year-old driver for a steel company died Monday when rebar fell on him as he was delivering materials to the construction site of Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.

This is the second construction worker-related death in four months at the stadium, the future home of the San Francisco 49ers.

The victim was identified as Edward Erving Lake Jr., of Vacaville, according to the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner's Office.

According to Peter Melton, spokesman for California Department of Industrial Relations, or Cal-OSHA, he worked for Gerdau Ameristeel.

Lake Jr.

A Gerdau spokeswoman emailed that she was "saddened" to confirm that a worker from the company's Napa Reinforcing Steel facility died, but she declined to say much more, citing the pending investigation.

Just before noon, Santa Clara police Lt. Kurt Clarke told NBC Bay Area that police determined the death was "accidental" and turned the investigation over to state health and safety officials.

Officials from Turner / Devcon in Milpitas, Calif., the main contractor for the project, said in a one-page statement that the delivery truck driver was "severely injured" about 6:30 a.m. when materials were being unloaded from his truck, and that he later died from his injuries. Work was halted for the day.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this difficult time," the company's statement read.

RAW VIDEO: Chopper View of Stadium After Steel Worker Dies

The 49ers organization echoed a similar sentiment:

"Our sincerest thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and co-workers affected by this tragedy," the team said in a statement.

NBC Bay Area's chopper flew overhead about 9 a.m., showing workers huddled in groups speaking with each other. Yellow tape surrounded a portion outside the stadium, where large wooden planks formed a ramp.

On June 11, a 63-year-old elevator mechanic doing work at Levi's Stadium died when he was standing on a ladder beneath the counter-weight of an elevator when the weight came down and struck him on the east side of the construction site. That death shut down construction for two days. His union is still collecting money for the Donald E. White Memorial Fund. Melton on Monday said the company in that case - Schindler Elevator Corporation - will not be fined or cited for White's death.

Melton said that Cal-OSHA investigators determined that White knew the elevator was in motion, but stayed in the elevator pit. Melton said that White was experienced and was in communication with the elevator operator about what was going on. It is unknown why he stayed where he did.

MORE: Elevator Worker Dies at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara

Project co-director Jonathan Harvey said Tuesday will begin with an all-hands meeting for the more than 900 workers on site to talk about safety and answer what questions they can about the accident.

"Certainly we'll be assisting our workers, our coworkers in the field for whatever needs they have because of this tragedy," Harvey said.

Levi's Stadium is under construction and will soon be home to the San Francisco 49ers football team. The $1 billion, 68,500-seat stadium is expected to be done in time for the 2014 National Football League season.

 

NBC Bay Area's Tim Bollinger, Kris Sanchez and Geoffrey Eisler contributed to this report.

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