Report: Walkway Collapse Warning Ignored

Cal Osha investigators have determined why a wooden pedestrian walkway collapsed in East Village in August 2008.

The report, which was released on Tuesday, detailed the events leading up to the deadly collapse.  16 people were injured, including Tyrone Allen, 49, who was paralyzed and died last week. 

In the report, investigators said workers at Paramount Scaffolding leaned wooden planks and metal frames against the temporary walkway.  The weight of the materials caused the wooden walkway to bow.  A crane operator noticed the bowing of the walkway about an hour before the collapse and notified the scaffolding crew, investigators said.

The report said the crew did not remove the materials, so the crane operator told his supervisor to notify the main construction company, Carlsbad-based Allgire General Contractors.  By then, it was too late and the walkway buckled under the pressure, slamming onto pedestrians. 

"I am angry that they had a chance to prevent this from happening and ignored it," said James Smith.  He was seriously injured in the walkway collapse.   "Fractured my shoulder blade, fractured my ribs, broke my femur and hip," Smith said.

Smith is one of several victims who have filed a lawsuit against the companies involved in the collapse.  Attorney James Frantz called the companies negligent. 

"They were warned before the accident occurred that this was an accident ready to happen, but they did nothing and that's what's most troubling, I think," he said.

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