Worker dies after 120-foot fall from roof

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A man working on a roof at a hangar at Cecil Field died Friday afternoon when he fell more than 120 feet.

The deceased worker was identified as 26-year-old Jose Lopez from Axton, Virginia. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said Lopez was attempting to move from one section of the roof to another when he untethered from his safety harness and lost his footing. Lopez's brother was working with him and witnessed the fall.

"That's so sad to see your own brother pass away and you can't do anything," said Ryan Vallish, who heard about the accident when he arrived at work at the building next to the hangar.

Vallish didn't see the accident, but sees several of the workers at the hangar every day. Hangar 935 off Aviation Avenue is scheduled to be completed in October for Flightstar Aircraft Services, according to Jacksonville Aviation Authority spokesperson Michael Stewart. Construction began in August of 2013. The primary contractor on the project is Balfour Beatty which contracts with several other companies depending on the type of construction needed. Lopez worked for a contracted company called IMC Erectors.

JSO said winds may have played a role in the fall. Gusts in the area reached up to 45 miles per hour.

"We're hearing that there was some wind up there and that may be he lost his footing but I can't say that it's because of the wind or if he just lost his footing or what the cause was," said Sergeant Daniel Janson with JSO.

OSHA is conducting an investigation.

JSO says Lopez started working at the hangar on May 12th. First Coast News has reached out to IMC Erectors and Balfour Beatty for comment.


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