RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — A construction worker reportedly fell to his death early Sunday when a railroad bridge over the 91 Freeway partially collapsed.
The incident was reported around 3:15 a.m. at the Pachappa Railroad crossing over the westbound side of the freeway, according to California Highway Patrol. The segment of the freeway is between 14th Street and Central Avenue.
Okesene Faasalele, 58, was in a harness hooked to the bridge, when it buckled, sending him swinging him down onto the freeway lanes.
The Long Beach resident was taken to Riverside Community Hospital, where he died at 4 a.m., the Riverside County Coroner’s Office reported.
“He was saw-cutting the bridge,” Calstrans’ Michelle Profaint said. “He was cutting it in half so that they could take down the two sections. He was up on the bridge, cutting the bridge deck in half, and he was almost at the end when the section that he was standing on, for some reason, twisted underneath him.”
When the segment collapsed, Faasalele was taken down with it, making contact with the pavement below.
Eastbound lanes were closed as investigators looked into the accident.
Faasalele was employed by a subcontractor called Hard Rock.
The bridge was being demolished as part of a 91 Freeway expansion project.