MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - Officials identified the victims who fell to their deaths from a television transmitter tower in Miami Gardens.
The three victims were identified as 23-year-old Brachton Barber of Longwood, Florida, 31-year-old Marcus Goffena of Sydney, Ohio, and 35-year-old Benito Rodriguez of Tampa, Florida.
Goffena was the first person to be identified from the Wednesday afternoon tragedy. The Sidney City Schools superintendent said Goffena was a 2005 graduate of Sidney High School and star football and baseball player. The superintendent also said he was beloved in the community.
Barber is also the son of the owner of the company hired to work on the tower, a company out of Texas called Tower King II.
All three victims lost their lives, Wednesday, when a crane carrying the trio plummeted from the top of the tower at 501 NW 207th St., which is owned by both WSVN and WPLG.
The men were using a gin pole to work on the tower from hundreds of feet in the air.
Witnesses described the sound of metal crashing to the ground.
“It sounded like a loud explosion, like a little mini bomb or something,” said witness Eric Garner. “I’ve been noticing the crane for a while.”
WSVN had contracted Tower King II to work on the structure.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Tower King II was fined $15,000 in 2013 for safety net violations.
WSVN-TV owner and president Edmund Ansin released a statement that reads, “We are saddened by this tragic event. Our deepest sympathies go out to the families of the three men who died. They worked for a company hired by Channel 7 to perform work on the tower that was required by the [Federal Communications Commission].”
The investigation remains active.
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