2010-01-14 / Front Page

Contractor Falls to His Death

Lexington emergency personnel were dispatched to the Ron Brewer residence Monday afternoon, January 11, at approximately 5 p.m. in reference to a man who had fallen from a second story structure. Mike Rodriguez, 69 years old from Austin, was the lead carpenter for a new home that was being built for the Brewer family. A three-man crew, who worked for Grubert Equipment Contractors in Manchaca near Austin, had been building the large two-story home, located on CR 405 about ΒΌ mile off Hwy. 77, a mile south of Lexington. They had been working at the site since October 2009 and were finishing up the inside framing and were almost through drying it in.

They had finished their work for the day and were cleaning up their tools and loading up their truck when one of the workers reported that Rodriguez, who was working on the second level, suddenly fell from the second story to the ground floor.

The men, who were of Hispanic descent, had very limited command of the English language, but managed to call 911. Unfortunately, they had a great deal of difficulty in communicating their location to the 911 Dispatcher, so one of the men quickly went to Woodson Lumber about two miles away from the building site. The men were familiar with Woodson Lumber and its staff, as that’s where they bought much of the materials they needed to build the home.

Lance Walch, Assistant Manager at Woodson Lumber in Lexington, had been working with the crew and knew right away that something was very wrong. He said the man burst into the store and was very shaken and kept saying, “Boss man hurt.” The Hispanic man still had the 911 Dispatcher on the line of his cell phone, so he handed the phone to Lance who gave directions to the job site for emergency personnel.

Lexington EMS was dispatched to the scene along with the Lexington Volunteer Fire Department, who was called in order to set up a landing site for an emergency helicopter that had been called to transport Rodriguez to the hospital. However, the helicopter was cancelled when it was determined that Rodriguez was deceased. Emergency personnel tried CPR on the victim, but were unable to get any response.

Justice of the Peace Nick Hester was called to the scene. The cause of death was listed as a heart attack. Rodriguez leaves a wife and several grown children.

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