Victim transported to hospital after construction accident in Gulfport

Victim transported to hospital after construction accident in Gulfport
Patio 44 is a new restaurant under construction in Gulfport.
Patio 44 is a new restaurant under construction in Gulfport.

GULFPORT - One person has been transported to Gulfport Memorial Hospital after part of Patio 44's building frame collapsed on the victim. Gulfport Fire Chief Michael Beyerstedt reported the victim was working in a bucket truck at the construction site when part of the frame collapsed, knocking the victim about 15 feet out of the truck. Worker Austin Stringer called the incident a domino effect.

"We were putting up all the trusses up there, and the wind was blowing. And I guess something broke in the middle of it, and then just a domino effect. It all fell," Stringer said.

Stringer was working on the crane when the accident happened.

Chief Beyerstedt said after firefighters arrived at the scene and were clearing people out, the other side of the frame collapsed. No other injuries were reported as a result of the second collapse.

"We just heard "watch out". I mean, it started from the middle towards this way, and it just, boom boom boom one after another," Stringer said.

It was like nothing he's ever seen on a work site.

"I ain't never, I've seen stuff fall and everything, but not this bad," Stringer said. "Not this, you know, big."

Beyerstedt said the victim is going in and out of consciousness and has a fractured ankle. He also reported the victim may have a possible head injury. A representative with AMR says the victim's injuries are considered non-critical.

Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Goveia says quick reactions from emergency crews as well as workers on site made all the difference. For Stringer, it was just second nature.

"We all ran over to him, make sure he was alright," Stringer said. "When we noticed that his leg was injured we told him to lay there make sure his neck or nothing wasn't hurting or anything. We called the ambulance, fire department. They all showed up and helped him out."

Patio 44 owner Ron Savell says he heard about the accident shortly after it happened and he's keeping a close eye on the victim's status.

"I think there's some good damage to his ankle but it definitely could have been a lot worse at this point," said Savell.

Savell has worked many times with contractor Dan Hensarling and believes this accident is just a that, an accident.

"At the end of the day, it's a bunch of wood and steel. We can clean it up, and tend to the injured, and get back to work on Monday," said Savell.

According to Patio 44's Facebook page, the restaurant was slated to open in October. Savell says he doesn't know what this accident will do to that timeline.

The victim was working with a construction crew on the building frame.

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