Bridge Collapse in Riverside Leaves One Dead

KML-bridgecollapse_110081558On Monday, May 19th, a bridge collapse on Highway 91 killing 59-year-old Okesene Faasalele, of Long Beach. The accident wasn’t expected to slow commuters or the ongoing widening of Highway 91 through Riverside.

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The accident happened at the Pachappa Railroad Over-crossing, which occurs between the 14th Street and Central Avenue exits. The railroad bridge was being demolished in order to make room for a new span long enough to cross the freeway after it is widened.

Faasalele, a worker for Hard Rock Inc., was tethered to the bridge because he was a part of the demolition process. The bridge unexpectedly collapsed, taking Faasale down to the pavement with it.

He was taken to the Riverside Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 4.a.m. .

The Riverside County Transportation Commission is doing a thorough investigation to see what exactly happened and how to avoid it in the future.

In Inland Southern California, it’s hard to drive anywhere without passing through a construction zone, with $2 billion in projects happening in Riverside County alone.

This isn’t the first accident that has happened along the way. Two weeks ago a welder’s torch ignited a massive fire that destroyed a bridge that was being built over Interstate 15. Local supervisors don’t think that the amount of work being done was compromising safety.

The Riverside project, which will add one carpool lane in each direction on Highway 91, and adding lanes to the north to allow for non-interrupted carpooling between San Bernadino and Orange County is scheduled for completion in late summer 2015.

Kenneth Marks, Personal Injury Attorney

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Kenneth G. Marks has been practicing personal injury law since he was admitted to the California Bar in