Three workers were injured, one of them severely, after a wall collapsed on the workers at the site of a house under construction at 51 Calle Del Sur in the Hammock Saturday afternoon (Aug. 3).
Michael Brey, a supervisor with B&Z Builders, told a Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy at the scene that a work crew was attempting to put up a wood wall 30 feet long and 12 feet high. They were on an upper floor. He said he and eight workers were pushing the wall up when it fell, according to an incident report. Ronald Montagna, 48, of Palm Coast, and Nathaniel Schmidt, 34, of Palm Coast, were stuck under the wall when it fell.
Flagler County Fire Flight, the emergency helicopter, was requested, but was out of service for maintenance. Trauma One, an emergency helicopter from St. Johns County, flew down and transported Schmidt to Halifax hospital in Daytona Beach. Flagler County Fire Rescue 22 transported Montagna to Halifax hospital with serious injuries. A third worker, Paul Treue, 47, of Flagler Beach, sustained a cut in his left leg but drove himself to AdventHealth, according to the report.
Employees Zachary Pierce, 31, William Gordon, 23, Mario Lanza, 41, Christopher Emplit, 37, and Russell Lanza, 39, all of Palm Coast, were also part of the crew at the time of the incident, Brey reported. OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, was contacted and a report filed, and the scene was turned over to a sheriff’s detective.
The beachside quarter-acre property at 51 Calle del Sur, valued at $1.1 million, is owned by Palm Coast residents. It is situated along some of the most valuable properties in the county. A similar residence just to its north sold for $2.3 million in early 2017. Most are of recent vintage, and lots are still selling.
Flagler County’s building division issued a building permit last September for a multi-level 10,400 square-foot residence at #51, listing Stajo Construction of Palm Coast as the contractor and a job value of $2.9 million. The construction site had last been inspected on July 15 by inspector Charlie Grebe, according to county documents. (County documents list the address as 51 Calle del Sur. The sheriff’s incident report lists it as both 52 and 51 Calle del Sur, though 911 dispatchers referred to it as 51.)
OSHA reports 17 incidents resulting in severe injuries at various sites in Flagler County (mostly in Palm Coast) between 2015 and 2018, the latest year for which figures are available. The incidents–fractures, heat exhaustion, dislocation, a meat-cutter slicing off the tip of his left pinkie at the Palm Coast Parkway Winn-Dixie, another losing the tip of his left ring finger while cleaning a beef patty machine at the Belle Terre Publix, a postal worker fracturing his shoulder and sternum while servicing a vehicle–include workplace injuries, not just injuries at construction sites. Five of the injuries were sustained by roof workers.
The gravest most recent construction-site incident took place last October at 2 Sebastian Court in Seminole Woods, where two workers Richard Hockaday, 37, and Gerald Anderson, 39, of Palatka, were killed when a concrete-pouring boom struck overhead electric lines, shocking them both on the ground.