State Investigation Underway on Death of Iron Worker



At the dawn of a new year and a nequarter, Seattle University continues to promote new, expansive changes, like the opening of the new campus bookstore and Vi Hilbert Hall, the Student Residence and Enrollment Services Center under construction on 12th and Madison.

On Dec. 30, 2017 amidst the hustle and bustle of construction, ironworker Raymond Estores fell from the 9th story of the building while installing rebar,or reinforcement bars made of steel. Estores, a 23 year old from Nanakuli, Hawaii with a 2-yearold daughter,attended  higschool  in LaceyWashington and community college at South Puget Sound. He was a mixed martial arts competitor and a member of Iron Workers Union 86. A state investigation is underway to determine if anything could have prevented his death.

The  universithajoinethe project developmenpartner and contractor overseeing construction at the site in reaching out to the family to offer our condolences and support while being respectful of their privacy durinthis  difficult   time,”  Father Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J, said in a campus-wide  emaiannouncement. ConstructioresumeoJanuary 2nd with no communication coming from the university to the campus community for a week and a half after the incident. Once the announcement was made, there was no mention of the states investigation.


A day before New Years Eve, Raymond Estores, 23, died on the construction site of the Vi Hilbert Residence Hall.

Whether these safety measures were followed, and whether other preventions could have been made to prevent the fatality, will be investigated by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I), whichis responsible for investigating breeches in workplace safety.

The purpose of our investigation is to find out what happened and why, and to determine if the employer [Harris Rebar Services Corporation] was following state safety regulation,Elaine  Fisher, Director of Public Affairs a L&I, said in aemail.

According to Fisher, an investigation can take up to six months and more information will likely be released when the investigation is complete.

From the perspective of his family, thphotos  anevidence  [Ninyo Estores] has been shown [by Local Iron Workers 86] make him think that more could have been done to keep his son from falling from nearly the top of the building, Joel Moreno from KOMO News reported.

Furthermore, in the interview with KOMO News, the mans father, Ninyo Estores, whose also in the construction business as a handyman in Lacey, Washington, believes hisohad unclipped his safety harness to move down one floor, only to fall through the safety barriers of an elevator shaft.

Ninyo Estores questioned if enough railings werplacearounthe elevator shaft, and   mentionethe plywood on site did not have shoring underneath it, the necessary safety reinforcements that would havprevented the plywood from giving. No further details will be releasewhile the investgation continutes. Susannah Banfield, the project coordinator at      Harris RebarEstoress employer currently under investigation, declined to comment, stating they are have no information to give on the situation.

Theres not too much we can say as we work with L&I for the investigation. Our thoughts    arwith Estores family at this time and were fully cooperating with L&I, Dan Peyovich, Northwest  Division President  at Howard S. Wright, said. Safety is our top concern.Dan Peyovich is the spokesperson for the company on this issue, according to Dean Forbes, media relations specialist for Seattle Us Marketing Communications Department.


A day before New Years Eve, Raymond Estores, 23, died on the construction site of the Vi Hilbert Residence Hall.

When inquirinfor a source througthe universitttalto about the incident, Peyovichs name was given. A campus contact would be from the office of the president. A follow-ufrothpresident Sundborg himself came via a campus- wide announcement sent by email later that evening on January 10, 2018.

The investigation into Estoress death and the construction of Vi Hilbert Hall are ongoing. The Vi Hilbert Hall leasing center opened this week, witthe residence set to open in fall 2018.

Apua N Stormy Young created a GoFundMe page to help fundraisfor Raymonds family to raise his daughter and to help his girlfriend with any unpaid expenses, according tthpagestoryIPresident Sundborgcampus announcement, althougnnames oresources were given to students inquiring for more informatioothproject development partner and contractor–let alone the mention of an ongoing state  investigation–thGoFundMe page was sited as a source of support and information for students seeking a way   to   offer their   condolences.

Now, as the trending page reaches its fundraising goal, closure for the family in the form of official details regarding what  specifically occurred during construction can be reached as the investigation releases findings in the future.

Jacqueline may be reached at
[email protected]