Delivery Driver Dies During Construction of New San Francisco 49ers Stadium

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 14, 2013

July 28, 2013; Santa Clara, CA, USA; General view of the exterior of Levi's Stadium, the future stadium for the San Francisco 49ers. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Construction personnel have been hard at work to ensure that Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., is ready to accommodate the San Francisco 49ers for the 2014 NFL season, but tragedy struck yet again on Monday, as a worker died due to an accident, according to Lisa Fernandez of Robert Salonga of the San Jose Mercury News reports that the worker who died was a delivery truck driver.

This is the second death in four months at the construction site.

The worker has yet to be identified, but it is being reported that his death was the result of rebar (a reinforcing bar) falling on him. According to the Mercury News report, Santa Clara Police and Fire Departments and Cal-OSHA are investigating the incident, and construction has been shut down for the day.

According to, Cal-OSHA spokesman Peter Melton said the accident was reported at 6:45 a.m. local time. The victim was a subcontractor for Gerdau Ameristeel. No details have been released regarding the accident.

The company building the stadium, Turner/Devcon, released the following statement, via the Mercury News: "We are deeply saddened to confirm that the driver has passed away as a result of his injuries. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this very difficult time."

The 49ers released a statement as well, via local ABC affiliate KGO:

The 49ers organization learned this morning that an accident occurred involving a driver as he delivered materials to the stadium. Our sincerest thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and co-workers affected by this tragedy.

This is the second death to occur during the construction of Levi's Stadium. On June 11, 63-year-old elevator mechanic Donald White died after a counterweight hit him while he was standing on a ladder at the bottom of an elevator shaft, according to Robert Salonga, Mark Gomez and Mike Rosenberg of the San Jose Mercury News.

Fernandez notes that White's death caused construction to be shut down for two days, although it is unclear what type of impact the most recent incident will have on work plans.

The construction of Levi's Stadium, which started in April 2012, has been a huge undertaking. It will be a state-of-the-art facility with a seating capacity of 68,500, and the estimated cost is $1.3 billion. The Niners have played at Candlestick Park since 1971, and while it is viewed as a legendary venue by locals, there is no question that it is out of date when compared to other stadiums across the league.

Those working on Levi's Stadium have seemingly made a great deal of progress. Back in June, the Mercury News reported the project was about 40 percent complete and that it was scheduled to be finished in August 2014. However, a second death in four months is sure to create questions with regard to whether or not proper safety precautions are being taken.


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