| Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise


Download our free e-book! Corrosion Under Insulation. Sponsored by Thermion.

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Worker Killed in Overpass Collapse

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

More items for Health & Safety

Comment | More

A California demolition worker tethered to a railroad bridge was killed this weekend when “something came loose where it wasn’t supposed to” and the bridge collapsed onto a freeway, authorities said.

Okesene Faasalele, 59, of Long Beach, CA, was pulled down when the Pachappa Railroad Overcrossing buckled and broke about 3:15 a.m. Sunday (May 18) onto the eastbound 91 Freeway in Riverside, CA, Caltrans reported.

91 Freeway accident 91 Freeway accident
Photos: KTLA screen grabs

Authorities said the victim, a subcontractor had been cutting on the bridge when it collapsed onto the freeway.

Authorities told the media that Faasalele worked for a construction subcontractor based in Metairie, LA. The company was working on the project for general contractor Sema Construction of Irvine, reports said.

However, a woman who answered the phone Monday at Hard Rock Construction said that that company was not involved. Sema Construction did not respond to a request for comment. The discrepancy could not be immediately clarified.

A Caltrans spokeswoman told KTLA-TV that family members had been working with Faasalele when the bridge fell. The freeway was closed at the time, and no other injuries were reported.

Caltrans spokesowman Michelle Profant told the Los Angeles Times that Faasalele had been attached to the bridge by a harness and was cutting part of the structure in half when it "buckled and twisted under him."

91 Freeway Accident

"Something came loose where it wasn’t supposed to," a Caltrans spokeswoman said. "And he rode the bridge down. Before it hit the ground, it twisted, and it catapulted him into the pavement."

Caltrans spokeswoman Terri Kasinga told the Press-Enterprise that Faasalele had been tethered to the bridge "because he was part of the demolition process. Something came loose where it wasn’t supposed to. And he rode the bridge down. Before it hit the ground, it twisted, and it catapulted him into the pavement."

”Faasalele was pronounced dead at an area hospital about 45 minutes later.

The freeway was reopened Sunday afternoon.

Profant told the Press-Enterprise that the accident would not slow the six-mile, $232 million project to widen the freeway. The project began in 2012 and is to be completed in late summer 2015.

Caltrans and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were investigating the incident.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Bridges; Demolition; Fatalities; OSHA; Rail

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Desco Mfg. Co., Inc.

Steel Fabrication

• Shipyards
• Plate Fabrication
• Structural Steel
• Maintenance

DESCO Mfg.Co., Inc.


The Next Generation
of Blasting

• Lightest
• Coolest
• Most Comfortable
• Most Dependable

SAFE Systems, Inc.
Custom blast rooms
by SAFE Systems

Don't waste time and money "making do" with a "standard" design. Let us work with you to design and build the system that best fits your requirements.
Call 1-800-634-7278

SABRE Autonomous Solutions
Safety, Productivity, Quality. Robotic Blasting

Learn how this simple to use, field deployed, automatic robot is eliminating hazards in major confined, cluttered and complex surface preparation projects.

HoldTight Solutions Inc.

Our HoldTight®102 salt remover & flash rust
preventer prevents flash
rust by removing surface contaminants. Contact us
for your nearest distributor.
(800) 319.8802

Atlantic Design, Inc.

See our website for features of our best seller, the ADI 3500CFM 4-Pot Blast Vacuum Recycler. A smaller package with all the ADI power you need. 866.Call.ADI

Wasser High-Tech Coatings Inc.
Polyflex® Polyurea Linings

Polyflex ™ new Polyurea Geotextile Membrane System has been specifically engineered to protect the environment in containment applications.

US Minerals
US Minerals -
Black Magnum

With nationwide production and distribution capabilities, U.S. Minerals supplies a complete range of coal slag and other abrasives to meet all of your blasting needs.

Abrasives Inc.
Check our Prices for Blast Abrasives

Faced with higher abrasive costs? We invite you to call & check our rates on Black Magic® coal slag and other quality blast materials. Abrasives Inc. 800-584-7524

Safway Services
Safeguard Assets. Ensure Productivity. HAKI®

Protect assets and equipment. Keep facilities open and operational. Maintain schedules regardless of weather. Ensure smooth and continuous production. Easy to erect. Safway is the primary distributor of HAKI® products including HAKISPAN and HAKITEC® 750 – in North America.

Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us

© Copyright 2000-2016, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail