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Archive for Monday, October 13, 2008

One person taken by helicopter to hospital after accident at Oread Inn construction site

Lawrence Douglas County Fire and Medical crews evacuate an injured construction worker from the site of the new Oread Inn. Early reports indicate the person fell from a free-standing pillar in the center of the site. He was taken by ambulance to a waiting helicopter and then transferred to a Kansas City-area hospital.

Lawrence Douglas County Fire and Medical crews evacuate an injured construction worker from the site of the new Oread Inn. Early reports indicate the person fell from a free-standing pillar in the center of the site. He was taken by ambulance to a waiting helicopter and then transferred to a Kansas City-area hospital.

October 13, 2008, 11:23 a.m. Updated October 13, 2008, 5:30 p.m.

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Construction accident injures worker at Oread Inn site

Some tense moments came on Monday at the construction site of a new hotel in Lawrence. Emergency crews used a high-flying technique to remove an injured construction worker from the depths of the Oread Inn construction site. Enlarge video

This file photo shows the excavation and foundation work for the Oread Inn project north of 12th Street and Oread Avenue, just north of Kansas University's main campus. Early reports indicate a construction worker fell from a pillar in the center of the excavation site.

This file photo shows the excavation and foundation work for the Oread Inn project north of 12th Street and Oread Avenue, just north of Kansas University's main campus. Early reports indicate a construction worker fell from a pillar in the center of the excavation site.

Fire and medical and construction workers teamed up Monday to lift an injured worker with a crane from the bottom of the Oread Inn site near the Kansas University campus.

Chief Mark Bradford, of Lawrence Douglas County Fire & Medical, said the man suffered injuries that were not life threatening, but he was hurt enough to warrant taking him by helicopter ambulance to Kansas University Hospital in Kansas City, Kan.

Monday afternoon, construction supervisors were optimistic the injured worker could be released from the hospital either by Monday evening or this morning.

"It was just a freak accident. It was a freak deal," said Larry "Cowboy" Wiezorek, the project superintendent for Gene Fritzel Construction.

The injured man has been a carpenter for about seven years for Lansing-based Leavcon Concrete Construction, a concrete subcontractor for the project, which has been dug out near the corner of 12th and Indiana streets.

Wiezorek said the carpenter was complying with safety standards. He wore a harness and was fastened to a concrete forming wall that had been moved down into the site. At some point, the carpenter lost his balance, and it caused the wall to tip over on top of him.

Other workers lifted the wall off him.

"I looked down and saw the guy who got hurt just lying there," said Brett Beyer, a KU junior who lives at the nearby Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity.

Medics with Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical used a crane on the site to lift the patient on a stretcher onto Indiana Street. They loaded him into an ambulance, and minutes later, he was transferred into a LifeStar helicopter ambulance that had landed outside Memorial Stadium.

The companies did not identify the injured man. Brent Leintz, Leavcon's project manager, said the carpenter briefly lost consciousness at the scene, and he suffered a broken wrist.

Bradford said the department routinely trains for this type of rescue. Typically they might have to use a ladder fire truck though, he said.

"There's already a crane in place here," Bradford said. "There's professional crane operators, so we were able to work with them in connecting the basket to the crane and lifting the person up out of the area over to safe point where we could then move them to an ambulance."

A medic stood on the yellow bucket stretcher to help stabilize it on the lift. Two other medics used ropes from the ground to help provide security.

Wiezorek said the company's safety officer was working on an investigation Monday. On the job site, they have one or two safety meetings each week, he said.

"We believe in our people's safety. We put that before anything else, always," Wiezorek said.

The superintendent also said he had worked with the injured carpenter on other jobs before.

"He's one of the best employees I've seen in the concrete industry. He's very conscientious. He's very safe," Wiezorek said.

Part of Indiana Street is closed to traffic as work continues on the $37 million hotel project.

Bradford said the department had no trouble getting vehicles near the site for the treatment and rescue.

"The construction company has done a great job of maintaining that access, and we didn't have any access problems," Bradford said.

The fire chief said his department would not investigate the incident, adding that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration would handle any probe. Because Monday was a federal holiday, attempts to reach OSHA officials were unsuccessful.

The development group hopes to have the seven-story, 106-room hotel and condo development open by January 2010. The injury is not expected to delay construction, Wiezorek said.

Worker injured in construction site fall

Emergency crews tend to a construction worker who fell at the Oread Inn excavation site Monday morning.

Comments

Curtis Lange 6 years ago

Hope he makes a full recovery! I was heading east on 11th St when the ambulance was heading to the site. Wondered what was going on; now I know.

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Bob Forer 6 years ago

Redfred wrote: "I'm sure the workers comp insurance will be happy about paying fro a $5,000 + helicopter ride fro nonlifethreatening injuries. But then we have to justify having the helicopter parked at the Lawrence airport all day don't we?"Buddy, you sound like a complete dick. Although the injuries were reportedly non-life threatening, it doesn't mean a chopper flight to KU wasn't indicated. With falls, there is good change of paralysis, and other serious injruries that our local hospital is not equipped to deal with. And you gripe about the need for a nearby helicopter??? YOu are a piece. Wait until some drunk broadsides your car, or your family's car, or a friends car, and someone you love or care for is seriously injured. May I suggest you go live with the Taliban. They don't believe in the modern world. Apparently, nor do you.

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Jonathan Kealing 6 years ago

lazz-We have a reporter there who saw it land on the grass immediately outside the stadium.Jonathan KealingOnline editor

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Confrontation 6 years ago

I'm not surprised that some of you are saying stupid things on this post. I hope this man is okay, considering there could be injuries that won't be discovered until he's in the hospital.

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redfred 6 years ago

I'm sure the workers comp insurance will be happy about paying fro a $5,000 + helicopter ride fro nonlifethreatening injuries. But then we have to justify having the helicopter parked at the Lawrence airport all day don't we?

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Judgesmails 6 years ago

step away from the keyboard, idiots......&conf, always the voice of reason...........gimme a break

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Zype 6 years ago

rando: Not everyone has that option.

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lazz 6 years ago

i watched the chopper drop straight down from its hover, and it wasn't into the stadium. i couldn't see after it got below roofline, but it was hovering a coupla hundred feet high, almost straight over the job site, just a bit west of it, and it dropped STRAIGHT down, perhaps onto indiana street; not much room in there ... but it definitely wasn't as far west as the stadium...

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KEITHMILES05 6 years ago

The copter service is not a "not for profit" business. That is an oxymoron. LOL

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KansasPerson 6 years ago

Oh dear. What an unfortunate thing. I hope the person is going to be okay.

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jenner 6 years ago

"sjschlag (Anonymous) says: Hope the guy is alrightJust goes to show that God does not want this thing built"Really, you're going to pull that card? Isn't God supposed to "love all of his children" or whatever organized religion teaches you? Why would He hurt an innocent construction worker, and don't you think God would have better things to do than to delay construction on the Oread Inn?Let's not be self righteous and just hope for the best for a man who was hurt earning a living.May your God help you, sjschlag.

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6 years ago

red - last I knew a lifeflight was $20K. However that ride was for a serious injury, so I'm sure it was more expensive.

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the_chamber_grandjury 6 years ago

see what your bad karma did.... sent this guy to the hospital.....God in not in control of this you camel ridersAllah Akbar.......

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Rae Hudspeth 6 years ago

LMH does not have the facilities to take care of all injuries that are not life-threatening.We are fortunate to be able to get injured parties to a facility that can properly evaluate and treat them. A possible closed head injury comes to mind. I hope the worker has a safe and speedy recovery and is spared the stress and indignation of having to defend the use of good medical care to a workers' comp claim.

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Randall Barnes 6 years ago

just glad i have a job and have better things to do than sit here all day and cut people down if you dont like lawrence, ks then move. glad god was with him got would not have done this to the man

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sjschlag 6 years ago

Hope the guy is alrightJust goes to show that God does not want this thing built- first the buses cause the dirt to shake on the sides, then it gets flooded by a water main, then a bunch of dirt from the top falls in. What's next?

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TheOriginalCA 6 years ago

sjschlag (Anonymous) says: Hope the guy is alrightJust goes to show that God does not want this thing built- first the buses cause the dirt to shake on the sides, then it gets flooded by a water main, then a bunch of dirt from the top falls in. What's next?==============Get a grip.. wow

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hometownhawk 6 years ago

The man fell a very long way. It is standard procedure for a fall victim to be life-flighted, because internal injuries are likely in such a case, and impossible to diagnose at the scene. Some people seem to have even less of a heart than they do brains on these message boards-- and that's saying something.

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cthulhu_4_president 6 years ago

sjschlag..........pathetic. Does the same logic apply when people are hurt building churches?

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compmd 6 years ago

"But then we have to justify having the helicopter parked at the Lawrence airport all day don't we?"Tax dollars do not fund Lifestar, they are a private corporation. Also, they rent their hangar space at KLWC from another company. What is there to justify?

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seventy_times_seven 6 years ago

Terrible reporting. What is up with the worthless quote "I looked down and saw the guy who got hurt just lying there," said Brett Beyer, a KU junior who lives at the nearby Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. Note to George: just because you you interview somebody, it doesn't mean you have to quote them.

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Nikki May 6 years ago

Glad to hear it's non-life threatening. Construction accidents can be so scary.

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Eric Neuteboom 6 years ago

Kudos to the safety officer and others involved in his rescue. Seems like definitive and immediate steps were taken to rescue this man and to transport him to a hospital as quickly as possible. Here's hoping to a full and speedy recovery.

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monheim 6 years ago

@KEITHMILES05He said "not-for-profit" service, not business. Not that "not-for-profit" business actually IS an oxymoron (it's not). I'm not going to give you a less on what non-profit means, though. If you want to know, go look it up.

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KEITHMILES05 6 years ago

It seems LMH can't handle too much these days. I've never read of so many accidents where they fly them straight to KC.

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sjschlag 6 years ago

"Does the same logic apply when people are hurt building churches?"I'm just saying- there's been alot of mishaps at this particular construction site...it seems like every month something bad happens at the Oread Inn. First they shut down Indiana street because the buses make the ground shake. Then it floods and part of the dirt falls into the giant hole during a rainstorm. Then some poor guy falls while on the job. My comment may have been out of line, but I was just pointing out that it's kindof strange that things keep happening there...Still hope the guy who fell is doing better...that was probably a nasty fall.

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monheim 6 years ago

@sjschlagHmmm...it's almost as if construction is hard work and dangerous or something, and sometimes there are setbacks and people get hurt. But no...it must mean something. I mean, if there were a building that went up perfectly ahead of schedule with no setbacks and they found a pirate-chest full of gold buried under the site while building...that'd just mean that god REALLY REALLY likes the workers and the project, right? Makes sense to me.

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flyboy1 6 years ago

Redfred,Are you really as dumb as you sound. I'm sure if you or a family member was in this accident you would want the best care available and as quick as you could get it. This guy might have been in stable condition at the moment right after the accident, but with the type of accident he was in, his condition could have worsened in a matter of minutes. I know by your comments that you know nothing about the helicopter that is based at the Lawrence Airport. If you knew half as much as you think you do, you would have done research on the helicopter service and you would find that the service is owned/operated by Stormont-Vail and St. Francis Hospitals in Topeka. You would have also found out that the service is a not-for-profit service that is in our community to provide a very special service for our community and the surrounding area. You should be thankful to have this service available if needed. Next time you want to open your mouth about a subject, you should first have the facts, that way you don't sound like a complete idiot. I'm sure you have been told that before.

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Kelly Anderson 6 years ago

by the way, that helicopter does not sit idle at the airport...I live near Hallmark and we see that helicopter fly all the time. It also covers alot of northeast Kansas, not just the Lawrence area.

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