The photo is from 1978. My son, his truck. Behind him, my truck.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What We Do Is Dangerous

October 13, 2011
Photo by Joseph Kral

Construction accidents can happen when you least expect them.

Yesterday on a narrow road in La Honda, a truck from GraniteRock was delivering 9 yards of concrete for the final pour of a house.  As he approached, the construction workers offered to help guide him with hand signals around the last hairpin turn.  The driver waved them off.  He had years of experience and had delivered to this same project on earlier pours. 

Making the turn, the rear wheels went off the pavement onto the soft shoulder of the private road.  The barrel of the truck was still mixing, which may have shifted the load off center.  As the shoulder crumbled, the guard rail collapsed.  The truck slid sideways and backward into the canyon of a creek.  The cab flipped.  The force of 30,000 pounds of concrete falling into a canyon flattened the cab as if it had been put through a crusher.  The driver died immediately.  It took the entire day and into the night before they could get his body out of there.

Photo by Joseph Kral

Fred Eisenstaedt, the driver, was 62 years old.  Everybody liked him.  Sometimes he brought his terrier dog along with him on deliveries.  Not this day.

A day later, the truck body has been removed.  The barrel containing 9 yards of hardening concrete is still in the canyon.

Lawyers and insurance companies will argue over who was at fault.  We in the trades only need to know that a good man is gone.

Be careful out there.

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