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Brooks Schuelke
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Smithville Crane Accident Leads to Fatality

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The regular readers of this blog know that July has been devoted to issues relating to worksite safety. Unfortunately, as the month comes to a close, workers in the Central Texas town of Smithville were the latest victims of a crane accident. Having family there, I know that the tragedy has struck the small town hard.

Smithville is undergoing a major construction project with the replacement of the Loop 230 Bridge. Yesterday afternoon, a crane that was removing old sections of the bridge apparently attempted to pick up a section of bridge that was too heavy for the crane, causing the crane to collapse and drop the part of the bridge. The debris hit a cherry picker bucket that held two men. One of the men, James Michael Miles, fell approximately sixty feet and was tragically killed. The other man in the bucket was air-lifted to Brackenridge Hospital here in Austin. Amazingly, the crane operator was reportedly able to swim to safety.

The accident is the latest in what seems to be an epidemic of crane accidents nationwide, including a Houston crane accident just over a week ago that left four workers dead. There was also another crane collapse in Austin earlier this summer, though no one was seriously injured.

I don’t have any easy solution, but with the increasing construction in the area and the needless deaths nationwide, it is apparent that some new safety steps need to be taken.

For our other posts relating to crane accidents, you can read the following:

Austin Considering Regulations To Reduce Crane Accidents

Another Crane Accident

New York Crane Collapse A Deadly Worksite Injury

Injuryboard Crane Accident Help Center

We also have a series of posts, available using the tag features, that discuss many of the issues in worksite injury cases.