Construction Worker Killed By Falling Granite - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Construction Worker Killed By Falling Granite

By Frances Kuo

(LOUISVILLE) -- Authorities say a construction worker was killed Thursday when a slab of granite being unloaded from a truck fell on him outside Cardinal Kitchens in the 200 block of east Wampum Avenue. WAVE 3's Frances Kuo investigates.

Deputy Coroner Bob Jones says the victim was 42-year-old Timmie Neals of Louisville.

Jones says there will be an autopsy Friday in connection with the death. He says six slabs of granite were being unloaded from a truck and the load shifted, striking Neals.

Neals was rushed to University Hospital but died in the emergency room around 8:44 a.m. from his injuries.

Co-workers told us it was a routine job for 42-year-old Neals, who worked for Cardinal Kitchens, a company that makes kitchen countertops.

Police say he was helping unload the six sheets of granite that were supported by two straps attached to a crane when one of the pieces fell on him.

Johnny Drake told he had worked at Cardinal Kitchens for more than two years before he was laid off. He said a similar incident happened when he was working there. "That happened to me one time -- the straps didn't break, they just tumbled out."

An internal memo provided by another worker who did not want to be identified details that incident last October 28th, when two workers were unloading five granite sheets -- weighing about three tons -- when the load tilted and slid out of the supporting straps.

The granite hit the ground and no one was hurt. "When that strap breaks, it's going to go, Drake said. ""You've just got to run, and hope to get out of the way."

A safety team was called to investigate the quote "potentially life threatening accident," though it's not clear whether additional safety measures were put in place.

Drake says he has now skirted death twice. "This guy that got killed is the guy that took my place, so thank you."

Officials at Cardinal Kitchens had no immediate comment.

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