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Construction worker dies after falling from roof
The roof directly over the loading dock was where Elmer Donaldo Felipe Gonzalez fell after a construction accident. Photo by Tahsin Khan.

Construction worker dies after falling from roof

A 32-year-old construction worker died after falling from the roof of The Commons early Monday morning.

Elmer Donaldo Felipe Gonzalez was an employee of JV Roofing, a subcontractor of Cole Roofing, and fell from the roof of The Commons at approximately 8:15 a.m. He was pronounced dead on arrival at St. Agnes Hospital at approximately 8:45 a.m.

A Hispanic man from Hyattsville, Maryland, Gonzalez was working on the roof of The Commons when he fell from the rear of the building from above the loading dock, landing at the bottom of the loading dock. He was unconscious while receiving treatment from paramedics on the scene and displayed no outward sign of injury. 

According to Paul Dillon, UMBC Deputy Chief of Police, “a couple dozen” employees were working on the roof, although only “5 or 6” people were interviewed with “some direct knowledge of the incident.”

“We have a couple more interviews to do as well before we wrap up our part of the investigation,” Dillon continued.

“We do the initial investigation just to make sure that there is no criminal misconduct going on … and we’ve determined that this was accidental,” Dillon concluded.

Maryland Occupational Safety and Health conduct the other side of the investigation to make sure safety protocols were followed as well as find what caused the death and prevent similar incidents from occurring again.

As of September 25, according to John Zahor, Assistant Director for Construction Management at UMBC, Maryland Occupational Safety and Health has completed the preliminary investigation. The Commons roof construction has resumed.

“A gentleman …  tragically fell to his death while trying to earn a living,” said Dillon of the incident.