Worker dies from injuries after fall |

Worker dies from injuries after fall

The Rifle welder who plummeted 30 feet last week while building a movie theater in Eagle died from his injuries Monday night.

John Wesley Croy, 49, was pronounced dead at 9:38 p.m. Monday at Denver Health Medical Center, a hospital administrator there said.

Eagle building official Bob Kohrman blamed the accident on the builders’ negligence.

“They did not follow proper procedures,” Kohrman said.

Croy fell about 30 feet after some steel roofing sheets and other materials were laid on the steel bar joist he was sitting on, Kohrman said. The joist wasn’t properly braced, so when the heavy load was placed on it, the beam and everything on top of it shifted and fell, he said.

“What they were doing was not even following the shop drawings on the way it was supposed to be installed,” Kohrman said. “I’m sorry it happened.”

An Eagle police report on the Feb. 5 incident states that a medics told police he overheard an unidentified job foreman talking on his cell phone as Croy was being treated.

The medic reported that the foreman said, “They have us in such a goddamn rush to get this done, we can’t work safely.”

Croy was doing welding work on the Eagle Town Center Theater, located at the corner of Capitol Street and Founders Lane. The accident happened at 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 5.

Although Croy, the owner of Western Slope Welding of Rifle, was wearing a hard hat at the time of the fall, he suffered major head injuries.

The police report noted that Croy was bleeding from the back of his head after the fall. He first was transported to Vail Valley Medical Center, then airlifted via Flight for Life to Denver Health Medical Center.

Herb Gibson, area director for the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, would not comment on the accident because the investigation on the incident is still under way.

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