OSHA finds PCL ‘violated federal safety standards’ in fatal Bonner Bridge accident

By on October 16, 2021


Jose Armando Maqueda Mejia

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has found that PCL Civil Constructors committed “two serious violations” in connection with the accident at the old Bonner Bridge that killed worker Jose Armando Maqueda Mejia this past April. The agency has proposed penalties of $23,210.

Mejia left behind his wife of 22 years, Crystal Ambrose Maqueda, and his children Marriah, Brandon and Roman. A gofundme campaign for the family Fundraiser by Beth Storey : Family of OBX bridge worker killed in collapse. (gofundme.com) has raised more than $31,000 to date.

Here is the OSHA statement.

“A federal workplace safety investigation found that established procedures were ignored, causing a 42-year-old welder on the Bonner Bridge in Rodanthe to fall more than 50 feet to his death when the structure collapsed on April 14.

Employed by PCL Civil Constructors Inc., the worker was torch-cutting crossbeams on a section of the bridge where the company discarded concrete for removal. The concrete’s weight caused the structure to collapse and the welder to fall. PCL Civil Constructors is the lead contractor for the project, which includes dismantling sections of the bridge built in 1963.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited PCL Civil Constructors with two serious violations for failure to use engineering surveys or calculations to control the structure’s stability and avoid unplanned collapses. OSHA also found the employer overloaded bridge sections beyond weight capacity and exposed workers to struck-by and crush-by hazards. OSHA has proposed $23,210 in penalties.

“PCL Civil Constructors violated federal safety standards and a worker needlessly died as a result,” said OSHA Area Director Kimberley Morton in Raleigh. “If they had followed well-known standards, this tragic loss of life could have been prevented.”

Jose Armando Maqueda Mejia grew up in Mexico and moved to the U.S. at the age of 18. In 1999, he moved to Manns Harbor with his Uncle Pablo Mejia Ocampo where he met his wife and started his family.

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  • Karl

    I hope the Company made a large payment to the family.

    Saturday, Oct 16 @ 12:51 pm
  • Steve Hiller

    Holy cow, that fine is chump change for a fatality. I’ve worked with companies that have been fined much more than that for violations that didn’t even involve an injury. That’s shameful.

    Saturday, Oct 16 @ 4:08 pm
  • Carter McKay

    If I remember correctly didn’t PCL already have a tainted recorded with the construction of the new Bonner Bridge? Weren’t they responsible for a week’s long power outage on Hatteras Island that caused millions of dollars in losses for local businesses when they negligently cut an underground power line? Seems to me that alone should have disqualified them from any additional work from NCDOT. Now their negligence has yet again caused the needless loss of life and left a family without a husband and a father. Absolutely shameful.

    Saturday, Oct 16 @ 10:34 pm
  • Roadrunner

    An attorney’s dream come true!!

    Monday, Oct 18 @ 7:30 am
  • Michael Arnold

    Agree, truly shameful. Surprised at this pitiful fine. Especially since you could take one look at that dubious situation and tell there was a catastrophe coming with all that concrete sitting on the remains of the bridge. True & total negligence. IMO. Very sorry for the family.

    Monday, Oct 18 @ 1:32 pm
  • Lisa Berry Bryant

    This is ashamed that a husband and father had to loss his life because they didn’t follow the federal safety standards

    Tuesday, Oct 19 @ 5:46 am