CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – An Oklahoma company has been cited for two safety violations following the deaths of three people who were killed when a cell tower collapsed in Harrison County in February.

On Thursday, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced fines for S&S Communications Specialists totaling $14,000 — the maximum amount possible — for two serious safety violations.

Several contract workers with S&S were replacing diagonal supports on a 300-foot tall tower located on Murphy’s Run Road in the Summit Park area of Clarksburg on Feb. 1 when that tower fell.

Emergency workers were called to scene.

The collapse of the first tower put stress on a guy wire that weakened a second smaller tower that also collapsed.

Two workers on the first tower were killed — Kyle Kirkpatrick, 32, from Hulbert, Okla., and Terry Lee Richard, Jr., 27, Bokoshe, Okla. A Nutter Fort firefighter, Michael Dale Garrett, 28, of Clarksburg was killed when the smaller tower fell as emergency crews made a rescue attempt.

Three others were injured.

S&S Communications Specialists is based in Hulbert, Okla.

The company has 15 days to respond to the OSHA citations.

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Comments

  • Dumb Liberals

    Is OSHA looking at the fire department issues also? What's the outcome of that investigation? Will criminal charges be levied? Where's the "transparency" in that investigation?

    • Jonus Grumby

      Doubtful. It's likely the fire department would not have been there if the crew had followed proper procedures thus causing the structures to collapse and therefore the member who died would not have perished. Understand?

      • Dumb Liberals

        OSHA still mandates the occupational safety standards for fire fighters also. They along with several others members of the alphabet soup gang set the overall safety standards for fire services. Volunteer or professional, OSHA considers them as employees, same as Workers Comp.

  • Jonus Grumby

    A very tragic situation for all involved. Curious about the specifics of the violations, though.

    • Aaron

      The specifics are listed on OSHA's web site.

      • Jonus Grumby

        Thanks, Aaron. I'll look it up.

  • Shannon Westerman

    It would be interesting what the fines would be if this were a coal company where three men were killed. $14,000?
    Amazing.

    • jm

      that is simple Shannon.............it would be 5000 max.............and that would be mediated to about 500