Workers killed in scaffolding collapse near Disney identified as Hillsborough men

This shows the collapsed scaffolding, center, at a hotel under construction after two workers fell to their deaths early Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018, near Orlando. [Orange County Fire Rescue]
This shows the collapsed scaffolding, center, at a hotel under construction after two workers fell to their deaths early Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018, near Orlando. [Orange County Fire Rescue]
Published August 30 2018
Updated August 30 2018

ORLANDO — Two workers who fell to their deaths when scaffolding collapsed at a construction site near Disney World have been identified as a former officer with Plant City man who is a former concrete company executive and a father and stepfather who lives in Seffner.

Officials say they don’t know what caused the collapse, which occurred early Wednesday as the men were pouring concrete on the seventh floor of a 16-story hotel under construction.

The two were identified as 34-year-old Lorenzo Zavala, a former vice president at S&Z Concrete from Plant City, and 46-year-old Jerry Bell, a 46-year-old father and stepfather who lives in Seffner, the Miami Herald reported.

Orange County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Ingrid Tejada-Monforte said both men had died of their injuries by the time rescue crews arrived.

The accident happened just outside Disney property, Orange County Fire-Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles said.

"They were on the scaffolding, and for reasons unknown at this time, that support structure gave way, sending two workers plummeting to the ground below," Jachles said.

A third worker managed to hang on and climb to safety.

Marriott International has described the project as a 16-story, $282 million JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort, featuring 516 rooms near Orlando’s popular theme parks. It’s owned and developed by DCS Investment Holdings, a private equity group based in West Palm Beach, which is owned by Dwight C. Schar, co-owner of the Washington Redskins.

"We are deeply saddened by the tragic accident that took place earlier today," said Jeff Flaherty, who handles global communications and public affairs for Marriott. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones of the workers who died."

Flaherty said the construction of the building is being managed by DCS Investment Holdings, which had no immediate comment.

Fire-Rescue got the call at about 4:15 a.m., when about 18 workers were at the scene.

Jachles said it happened at the top of the construction project, which is still in the concrete-pouring stage. The Orange County Sheriff’s office and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate, he said.

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