Advertisement
  1. Clearwater

Man crushed to death working on Clearwater stormwater project

The scene on the 1400 block of Jeffords Street in Clearwater where an unnamed worker died Monday, June 24, after a large steel plate crushed him. (Kirby Wilson | Times)
Published Jun. 24

CLEARWATER — Tino Carmo was busy looking at blueprints when he heard a scream.

He looked up and saw a normal day turn into something unthinkable. One of his fellow workers on a Clearwater stormwater project had been crushed to death.

It was about 1 p.m. A man was working in a trench that was stabilized by a large steel plate. Somehow, the plate collapsed onto him, said Clearwater spokeswoman Joelle Castelli. He was the only person injured in the accident.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the incident, Castelli said.

The city did not name the deceased worker Monday because it had not yet informed his next of kin of the accident.

Clearwater officials may have trouble tracking down the man's family, said Carolina Bravo, who went to church with the deceased at Camino de Vida in Palm Harbor. He came to America alone at age 15, and most of his relatives were still in Mexico, Bravo said. The man's emergency contact was his pastor, Eduardo Huapaya.

He worked hard, and he loved to laugh, Bravo said. Even though he was quiet, he was quick to make jokes — and quicker to help the elderly women at his church.

"He was very loved by all of us in church," Bravo said, just yards from the site of the accident. She and others from the church came to the site to try to figure out how their friend died.

From what they could tell, Monday was a normal day for the 10-year veteran of Keystone Excavators. Bravo ate with the man at the El Texano restaurant in Palm Harbor on Sunday, and she said he didn't mention anything about his upcoming work.

Workers and subcontractors for Keystone Excavators Inc. came to the residential 1400 block of Jeffords Street on behalf of the city of Clearwater. Their job was to help the city beef up its stormwater retention infrastructure by 2020.

Carmo, of Central Florida Contractors, said it was his first day on the job site. He was there as a subcontractor for Keystone Excavators.

"This is the first time I've seen something like this," said Carmo.

Times staff writer Kavitha Surana and senior news researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. The Pinellas County Commission moved closer Tuesday to granting a total of $20.6 million to three museums: the Salvidor Dali Museum (top), the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center (bottom left), and the St. Petersburg Museum of History. Photos courtesy of Pinellas County
    The Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg Museum of History and Tampa Bay Watch are on track to receive bed tax dollars for expansions.
  2. Morton Myers, 40, is an entrepreneur, a lifelong Clearwater resident and now a candidate for mayor who comes from a family of Scientologists. He says he is not a practicing Scientologist and is running to bring change and representation to all residents. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Morton Myers says he’s not an active member. But with family on Scientology’s staff, he says he’s uniquely positioned to find middle ground with the church.
  3. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    An SUV crossed over the center line on S Fort Harrison Avenue and caused a head-on collision. The 70-year-old driver died at the scene.
  4. Northwood Plams Boulevard in Wesley Chapel has been closed for six months for sewer repair, and residents are ready for it to reopen. After a couple delays, Pasco County expects the project to be complete by the end of the week. Times File
    A Wesley Chapel reader wants to know when Northwood Palms Boulevard will reopen.
  5. A special garbage truck services an Underground Refuse System bin in Kissimmee. Clearwater recently bought six bins and a truck to service them, and will install the receptacles at the city's world-famous beach. City of Kissimmee
    “You don’t get to be the number one beach in America without taking care of business like this.”
  6. Spanx founder and Clearwater native Sara Blakely will be the keynote speaker at the Synapse Summit 2020 innovation convention, scheduled for Feb. 11 and 12 at Amalie Arena in Tampa. (Times file photo)
    Organizers say the Clearwater native is a game-changer for the event on Feb. 11-12 at Amalie Arena. It is expected to draw more than 6,000 entrepreneurs.
  7. Students make their way to new classrooms on March 18, 2019 at Melrose Elementary, which received $26 million in improvements recently. The school is home to the Center for Communications, Journalism & Multimedia Studies, which will welcome families for a Discovery Night at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Times (2019)
    News and notes about K-12 schools and colleges in Pinellas County.
  8. Students performing original rap songs with visiting Bible Rap artist Matt Barr at the first Kesher session in August. Rabbi Danielle Upbin
    An upcoming session will focus on Jewish values of positive speech.
  9. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri has sued Odessa-based Adams Arms, a gun manufacturer that sold more than 300 AR-15s to the agency. Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
    The agency recalled 309 rifles from Odessa-based Adams Arms and demanded a refund of more than $300,000.
  10. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
Visitors head to Florida's Old Capitol building on the first day of the annual sixty day session, Tuesday, March 5, 2019. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis addressed a joint session of the Florida Legislature Tuesday in Tallahassee.  SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    It’s no wonder why Clearwater would prioritize the issue.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement