Police officers and construction workers (above) survey the site of a construction accident in Pleasant Hill's Country Club addition last Wednesday morning. Workers were erecting the back wall on the second story of a new home at 303 Golfview when a gust of wind caught the front wall. The front wall, the back wall and the first floor walls of the house collapsed and two workers were injured.
High winds topple walls
By F. KIRK POWELL
Editor & Publisher ...A construction worker and his employer were injured last Wednesday morning when the walls of a new home being built in Pleasant Hill's County Club addition collapsed. ...Pleasant Hill building inspector Tom Kent said workers were erecting the back wall on the second floor of the new home at 303 Golfview when a strong gust of wind caught the front wall and tore it away. The rear wall also collapsed and brought the first floor walls crashing down with it. ...The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Pleasant Hill had issued a wind advisory for the Kansas City region on Wednesday warning of winds up to 30 mph with gusts as strong as 45 mph. ...The building collapse occurred shortly before 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday. ... Kent said eight workers were on the job at the construction site when the walls collapsed. ...It was initially feared that several workers had been trapped in the rubble, but most of them were able to scramble out of the way when the walls collapsed. ...One man— the construction company's owner—was seriously injured in the accident. He was identified as Kevin Etris and was
flown to a hospital in Kansas City by the Life-Flight Eagle helicopter. ...Another worker received minor injuries and refused medical treatment at the scene. ...The other six workers escaped without injury. ...When the 911 call came in, Pleasant Hill Fire-Rescue,
the Pleasant Hill Police Department and city building officials rushed to the scene. ...The Lake Lotawana Fire Department sent a pumper and additional emergency personnel and because Pleasant Hill Fire-Rescue was already responding to three emergency calls, the South Metro Fire District sent an ambulance to assist. ...Police sealed off the site and kept the public away while the air ambulance was landing and taking off at the accident site. ...City building officials inspected the rubble and although they questioned the wisdom of trying to erect a wall in the brisk winds, it was determined that the collapse was a freak accident and found that no municipal building codes had been violated. ...The Federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) was also called in and also determined that since the employer was the only one seriously injured in the collapse, it had no jurisdiction. ...Ward Enterprises of Grain Valley is the general contractor for three new homes going up this spring on Golfview. ...The National Weather Service wind advisory for the Kansas City region was in effect from 10 a.m. Wednesday to 7 p.m. that evening. ...Sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph were forecast with gusts of up to 45 mph. ...The strong southerly winds developed ahead of a cold front in eastern Kansas and western Missouri on Wednesday and were expected to be especially strong west of Interstate 35. ...Strong winds were also expected to be very near advisory criteria further east so the entire forecast area was included in the Weather Service posting. ...The Weather Service warned the public that winds of that magnitude would make driving difficult on west to east roads like Interstate 70, U.S. 50 Highway and U.S. 36 Highway. ...Motorists were warned that loose objects such as garbage cans and lawn furniture could be tossed around by the strong winds and create a hazard.