San Diego

1 Dies, 4 Injured After Rebar Collapses at UC San Diego Construction Site

The construction worker killed at a job site on the UC San Diego campus has been identified by family members as 32-year-old Sergio Cruz.

On Thursday, a 35-foot piece of rebar collapsed at the site of a future high-rise building on the campus also injuring four other construction workers, a spokesperson for Cal/OSHA said.

The rebar collapsed and injured one worker in the head, a UC San Diego spokesperson said.

Two patients were transported to Scripps Memorial Hospital, according to a spokesperson for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

One patient, identified now as Cruz later died, Cal OSHA confirmed. Two others had injuries that were considered serious.

Cruz is from Tecate, Mexico, and leaves behind a young daughter. Family members described Cruz as a good father and a hard worker.

The agency confirmed all five people were employees of Clark Construction. Workers were building a mixed-use community called North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood. The project's estimated completion date is in the fall of 2020.

"We have started a full investigation and are cooperating with the proper authorities, including CalOSHA. We take all matters involving the safety of our workforce, our jobsites, and the public seriously. Our deepest sympathies are with this individual’s family, friends, and co-workers during this incredibly difficult time." a statement from the company read in part. 

Tim Kubota, who works across from the construction site, said he saw the accident happen.

"Solid columns of rebar and they were bent over like little blades of grass," he said. "Whatever made those things bend over must have been a pretty heavy thing that fell." 

UC San Diego released the following statement following the accident:

"We are incredibly saddened by the tragic accident that occurred today on the Clark Construction Group jobsite on the UC San Diego campus. Our deepest sympathies go out to the family, friends and co-workers of the person who lost their life, and our hearts and thoughts are with all those affected by this tragedy."

Clark Construction, according to their website, has been involved in other projects such as, the San Ysidro Port of Entry, Petco Park renovations and the Naval Hospital on Camp Pendleton. 

San Diego State University announced the selection of Clark Construction Group to design and build the new multi-use $250 million stadium in Mission Valley.

Cal/OSHA said that there have been 13 investigations with Clark Construction in the last 10 years, none in San Diego. 

No other information was available.

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