He was crushed to death by a 2 meter boulder that rolled down from a ledge above him, where two heavy excavators were working. ( against all common sense, but also in defiance of written safety policy ) Sam's death was witnessed by his brother Arlen, and his close friends on his crew.
An amazingly similar accident, just the day before...with some of the same players involved...did 65,000 dollars in damage to a machine and caused a job wide safety shut down that resulted in a ban on machines from operating above other workers...
WorkSafeBC investigators used words like " reckless and grossly negligent'...and the rock fall hazards were "glaringly and objectively obvious"..."the employers senior management personnel failed to co-operate...through not disclosing that the superintendent involved with the fatal incident was present at camp when investigating authorities attended to investigate on Feb. 23 2009...and the employer did not control or prevent the departure from the work site, right after the fatal incident, of most of the witnesses"
Currently, the RCMP is investigating Sam's death on Kiewit's jobsite as a possible case of "culpable homicide" Interviews with witnesses are complete.
Interviews with American and Canadian executives of Kiewit are being arranged.
Brian Fitzpatrick, Sam's dad is trying to drag Kiewit into BC Supreme Court to reverse the decision of a WorkSafeBC tribunal ( WCAT ) that reduced the fine for Sam's death from 250,000 dollars to 75,000.
Kiewit is doing everything possible to avoid that particular showdown.
Who, or what is Kiewit?
Many people in BC, who aren't paying attention...think that Kiewit is a medium sized local company.
Peter Kiewit Sons Ltd is an American 12 billion dollar per year construction behemoth. The company has dozens of subsidiaries...some with the Kiewit name attached...many without.... ...Alaska Highway, Alaska Pipeline, Manhattan Project buildings, secret nuclear powered ice bunkers in Greenland ( Camp Century )...
Kiewit is currently working on the StratCom HQ building in Omaha ( previously Strategic Air Command....think Dr. Strangelove bunker )
Peter Kiewit Sons builds highways, bridges and tunnels.
Kiewit owns/operates or offers contract services to coal mines.
Kiewit builds infrastructure and machinery for conventional oil extraction.
Kiewit has built or worked on some of the largest oil sands projects in the world.
Kiewit also builds/ maintains/ services nuclear power plants.
|Kiewit coal mining operation|
|Kiewit coal mining operation|
|A small part of the 30 billion dollar Kearl oil sands project at Fort Mac|
|Kiewit Heavy Lift Device with the entire upper structure of an oil rig hoisted in the air|
|Fort Mac Oil Sands Mine|
Interestingly, Richard M Colf ( Dick Colf ) was a very senior executive at the Kiewit head office in Omaha, Nebraska.
( Same building as billionaire Warren Buffet )
Dick Colf was one of the main architects of the the Kiewit bid on the Sea to Sky highway project, the Toba/Montrose hydro power project, and the Gateway project ( Port Mann bridge, Capehorn Interchange )
Dick Colf inserted his old Alaska pipeline buddy, Gerry Karjala into the Sea to Sky project, and the Toba/Montrose job to be his eyes and ears...and to manage through fear and intimidation.
Google the 2012 Province paper 4 page article by Sam Cooper that talks about Gerry Karjala management methods...same with the Tom Sandborn article in the Tyee about Sam's death on the Kiewit project.
In the late 90's, Dick Colf was involved in the spin-off of a Kiewit company that would become Level 3 Communications
Google Richard M Colf / Level 3 Communications....all the stock info is there.
Level 3...after a bumpy ride in business and the stock market....became an major internet, multi-international telecommunications and internet trunkline provider.
If you are bored one day....look up the Board of Directors of Level 3 Communications....these are some very serious heavy hitters!! These guys have titles that Hollywood science fiction hasn't even invented yet.
Blah blah blah...so what.
In the very recent past...Level 3 Communications has been implicated in the NSA wiretaps of foreign governments.
Level 3 was steered up until recently by ex Kiewit CEO, billionaire Walter Scott.
Point being ( finally ! )....Kiewit Corp....are not punters. These are power brokers at the very highest level possible.
Brian Fitzpatrick and I are fighting for justice in his son's needless and possibly criminal death on a Kiewit work site.
Kiewit lawyers and management have written the rule book on construction related lawsuits.
Their number tactics are to bury opponents in paperwork, delay tactics, missing witnesses, missing records, counter suits...or just simply....giant company pummels smaller company or employee into submission.
This battle is for Sam Fitzpatrick. We can't bring him back....but we can make sure the Peter Kiewit Sons remembers him for the rest of their days.
Previous post and photos of defective retaining walls on the Sea to Sky Highway
Here's my thought for the day...how about no new projects for Kiewit in BC until this is settled....and just even a smidge of justice is doled out for Sam's death at the Kiewit work site....7 years ago.
|Sam Fitzpatrick holding his air powered rock drill at the Toba job site|
|Sam Fitzpatrick killed at 24 yrs old on Kiewit job site on Feb 22/ 2009|