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MailTribune.com
  • Man who died at SORCC construction site identified

    Bernie R. Mickey, 42, of White City, was pinned to a wall by a dump truck, according to sources
  • The identity of a man who died in January working on a construction site at the veteran's hospital in White City has been confirmed by his family and former employer.
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  • The identity of a man who died in January working on a construction site at the veteran's hospital in White City has been confirmed by his family and former employer.
    Bernie R. Mickey, 42, of White City, died on Jan. 21 while working on the Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics as a supervisor for Vancouver, Wash.-based construction company Global Pacific Environmental, the sources confirmed.
    The incident occurred at about 2:30 p.m., said Melanie Mesaros, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is investigating the incident.
    Dan Mickey, 78, of Central Point, who was Bernie Mickey's uncle, said his nephew was putting a cover on the bed of a dump truck when it started rolling backward.
    "He jumped down and closed the tarp ... best I know, the truck just rolled backwards and I don't know why," Dan Mickey said.
    "Our preliminary description was that he was pinned to a wall by a dump truck," said Mesaros around the time of the incident. When contacted this week, she would not comment on details of the investigation.
    Charles Ragan, president of Global Pacific Environmental, confirmed his former longtime employee and family friend Bernie Mickey died at the site on Jan. 21.
    "They OSHA have pretty much indicated that it was an unfortunate accident," Ragan said. "Our condolences went out to the family. We all felt really bad. Bernie was a friend of our family. My son and he went to church together, coached baseball together. It's a tragic loss for our company."
    Dan Mickey said his nephew had a wife and two children.
    Global Pacific Environmental was working at the veteran's hospital under contract for Texas-based Burton Construction Inc., which won a bid to renovate Building 201 at SORCC, according to documents on Burton's website.
    According to Global Pacific Environment's website, the company specializes in part in the abatement of asbestos-containing materials from buildings before renovation.
    Mesaros said OSHA would examine all of the equipment that may have been involved in the incident as well as other evidence, and conduct interviews with witnesses and employees before determining what exactly led to the death.
    Typically, the federal OSHA would investigate incidents at the facility, because it is federally funded, but Oregon OSHA took on this matter, as it involved a contractor, Mesaros said.
    Ragan said Global Pacific Environmental expects to get a report from the OSHA investigation in a few weeks.
    Reach reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-776-4471 or swheeler@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/swhlr.
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