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Tower Painter Falls to Death

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

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Federal authorities are investigating the death of a 29-year-old painter who perished in a fall from a water tower in Virginia.

Walter Lee Murray Jr., of Madison, NC, was wearing fall protection April 9 when he fell about 60 feet from a platform while painting the interior of the Campbell County water tower, county Director of Public Safety Tracy Fairchild said in an email.

Fairchild did not provide additional details about the fall protection.

Family Project

The local Alta Vista Journal said Murray had been working with his father and other family members for Boss Enterprises Painting & Sandblasting of Eden, NC, when the accident occurred about 3:30 p.m.

Walter Lee Murray Jr. Campbell County water tower
Family via (left); Campbell County, VA (right)

Walter Lee Murray Jr., 29, perished in a fall inside the Campbell County (VA) water tower. The victim, known as "Lee," was wearing fall protection, said authorities. The investigation is continuing.

The crew had already painted the exterior of the tower, the newspaper reported.

Murray was pronounced dead at the scene, reports said.

An obituary in the local News & Record said Murray was married with two children. He is also survived by a sister and his parents.

"He was a hard worker and will be missed by his family and friends," the obituary said.

The water tower is operated by the county. Boss Enterprises did not respond Monday (April 21) to a request for comment.

Further details about the accident and the project were unavailable. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was investigating.



Tagged categories: Accidents; Fall protection; Fatalities; Government contracts; OSHA; Painters; Water Tanks

Comment from Billy Russell, (4/22/2014, 6:07 AM)

Prayers first for another Lost Brother, was wearing a harness not attached to a life line inside is the only way this man died, was this another subcontractor? to the Big contract warehouse that keeps their Name out of these deaths ? just curious and pissed off at these needless loss off life.

Comment from Kenny Leonard, (4/22/2014, 6:52 AM)

Another sad loss of a young man in our industry such a shame for a young life to be taken RIP young man my thoughts and prayers go out to your family.

Comment from Mike McCloud, (4/22/2014, 10:05 AM)

Whether it's a painter, bridge builder, fireman, or any other tradesmen, mistakes happen. One has to always be vigilant with the lifeline. Always know where your feet, hands, and harness are. My condolences to our (painters) family and this mans family.

Comment from peter gibson, (4/22/2014, 3:24 PM)

Not tethering your person a mistake. Falls under the mistake category. GC are not responsible for lax safety of workers.Each man must work in a safe manner.

Comment from MICHAEL DEATON, (4/23/2014, 10:29 AM)

R.I.P. 2 another one of our fallen brothers....if lee had fall protection on & still fell 60' either he was not 100% tied off or his life line failed. None the less , he is gone & may God be with his wife , children & family....

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