One month later, family remembers victim of construction accident

Three men were killed after a scaffold collapsed in Charlotte last month.
3 workers were killed after falling more than 70 feet at a construction site on East Morehead Street
Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 7:04 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Stacey Bonilla says it still hurts her heart to know her nephew Jose Canaca Bonilla will never skate, crack another joke, or hug his family again.

“He shouldn’t be gone. He should be growing old and having kids and grandkids,” she said. “He was silly. He had a big heart.”

She added he was a 26-year-old goofball who loved to fish, loved his family, and had a lot to look forward to.

“We were robbed of that,” Bonilla said.

Jose was one of three construction workers who died one month ago after a scaffolding collapse at a construction site on East Morehead Street in Dilworth.

Gilberto Monico Fernandez and Jesus “Chuy” Olivares were the other two men who didn’t make it.

Two others were hurt as well after falling from nearly 70 feet in the air, according to Charlotte Fire.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police and OSHA are still investigating why the scaffolding caved in. OSHA said they have no update at this time.

Meanwhile, WBTV talked to Jacob Ditzenberger, a trainer with Ironworkers Local 848 who prepares employees before they work on construction sites. He teaches things like how to wear a safety harness, and how to prevent or protect yourself during a fall.

“I’ve been up in tower cranes a few times, I can kind of picture what he was seeing in my head,” Ditzenberger said after listening to the 911 call from that day.

He said most accidents are preventable by following OSHA requirements, like going through proper training and working responsibly with guardrails and harnesses while above 10 feet.

To remember the men lost after this accident, there will be a vigil Friday night at 6 p.m. at Marshall Park.

Related: 3 dead, 2 hurt in construction accident just outside uptown Charlotte