Man who died in scaffolding accident was ‘so genuine,’ friend says

CHARLOTTE — A man who died Monday in a scaffolding accident was full of energy and loved to skateboard, a friend told Channel 9.

“He was so genuine, loving, goofy,” said Juan Donado, a friend. “He made everyone laugh. Great, energetic guy, and I’ll always remember him as that.”

Three workers were killed and two injured when scaffolding 70 feet high collapsed at the site outside of Uptown.


“That was my best friend/ roommate, and we’ve known each other for years,” said Juan Donado.

Family members and friends identified one of the victims as José Canaca.

“A lot of people in the skateboarding community know him, as well,” Donado said. “We just started from skateboarding.”

Donado is a superintendent in the construction business.

“I work on construction job sites and safety is very important,” he told Channel 9.

He has many questions after the accident.

“I want to know what happened to the scaffolding,” he said. “I want to know how it was braced. How was it properly secured onto the wall?”

Donado said workers should always be tethered to a harness.

“And not just harnessing your workers, but also making sure that scaffolding is built properly,” he said.

Investigators will want access to the site and can stop construction during the investigation, said Greg Shelton, an attorney in the construction industry and board member with the Hispanic Contractor Association of the Carolinas.

Shelton explained what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration may do in the investigation.

“Review the situation and if they feel that there has been a violation of applicable OSHA laws, (they) will issue a notice of violation and have a hearing on that notice,” Shelton said. “The investigators will want to have access to the site and can stop the construction during the investigation.”

He said deaths at construction sites are rare in North Carolina because large companies hire third-party safety consultants.

“Not only do they not want to see people hurt, they have a huge financial incentive in terms of insurance rates and trouble with the Department of Labor to keep a site accident-free,” Shelton said.

VIDEO: Construction workers shaken after deadly scaffolding accident in Dilworth

Jonathan Lowe

Jonathan Lowe, wsoctv.com

Jonathan is a reporter for WSOC-TV.