DES PLAINES, Ill. — One construction worker was killed, three others were injured when a bridge support beam fell during demolition overnight.
Authorities have identified the construction worker as 47-year-old Vicente Santoyo of Berwyn who was just one week shy of his 48th birthday.
The trouble started early this morning as Santoyo and co-workers from Omega Demolition were removing a 45-ton beam from the Touhy overpass on I-90 around 3 a.m. Authorities say as they were cutting the steel supports between two beams when the load shifted and the massive piece of steel came crashing down on them.
The work is part of the bigger 2.5 billion dollar road project to widen I-90.
The Des Plaines Police Chief Bill Kushner describes the steel as 187-feet long and weighing 90,000 pounds.
Santoyo was rushed to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge where he later died.
The three other workers were hospitalized as well but with minor injuries.
Chief Kushner says the fallen beam will need to be cut into three pieces to be removed because it is so twisted and that will take the rest of today and likely into tomorrow.
The Illinois Tollway released a statement saying:
The Tollway family is deeply saddened by today’s very unfortunate event, and our prayers and sympathies are extended to all families and loved ones of those affected. In particular, our thoughts are with the family of the worker who lost his life in this accident. We will immediately begin our work with local authorities and OSHA to learn the causes of this accident. The safety of our employees, the contractors working on our roadways, as well as the motoring public are always of the highest importance at our agency.
Major delays are being reported around that area due to the construction accident.