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State investigates construction worker's deadly fall in Seattle

Construction worker Ray Estores, 23, tumbled off the ninth floor of a construction site on the Seattle University campus on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2017, and now a state investigation is underway into how it happened. (Photo courtesy Ray Estores' family)

SEATTLE - A construction worker tumbled off the ninth floor of a construction site on the Seattle University campus and now a state investigation is underway into how it happened.

However, the man’s family wants to know if safety measures fell short at the job site.

According to investigators, Ray Estores, 23, was installing rebar at a college dormitory project when he fell and died. No official cause has been determined and the accident remains under investigation.

“He loved his work, just like I love mine," said Ninyo Estores, the man’s father. “It's just hard for me to even fathom."

The father said he was briefed by his son's union, Ironworkers Local 86, and the photos and evidence he's been shown make him think that more could have been done to keep his son from falling from nearly the top of the building.

Estores' father said he believes his son had unclipped his safety harness to move down one floor, only to fall through the safety barriers of an elevator shaft.

“He stepped on that piece of plywood, which is supposed to have shoring underneath it, and it didn't, and the plywood gave, and he just slipped into the shaft," the father said.

Ninyo Estores also questioned if enough railings were placed around the shaft.

A check of state records show neither the contractor, Howard S. Wright, nor the subcontractor that employed Estores, have any significant safety violations.

Dan Peyovich, the president of Howard S. Wright, issued this statement:

"We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss and our hearts go out to the family. We are working with L&I on the investigation and our number one concern is for the safety of our employees and the workers on site. We're working to fully understand the situation and once we have that information we will share it."


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