UPDATE: Online fundraiser for family of man killed in worksite accident in Chilliwack

Crews on the scene of a construction accident in Garrison Crossing Friday morning. - Greg Laychak
Crews on the scene of a construction accident in Garrison Crossing Friday morning.
— image credit: Greg Laychak

Fundraising is underway for the family of the 24-year-old man killed in a construction site accident in Garrison Crossing on Friday.

Sebastian Gomez Obando died at the scene of the accident that saw a concrete pumper truck mechanism fail.

The PSI Concrete Pumping machine tipped over and trapped Gomez and another man at the site next to the Cheam Leisure Centre.

Firefighters rushed to the scene around 8 a.m. and worked to free the men, eventually removing the injured man just after 9:30 a.m. He was airlifted to Royal Columbian Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

His name and condition have not yet been released.

Gomez was pronounced dead on the scene, and a massive Eagle West crane was brought in later to remove the damaged pumper truck, which had a visible break in the front, right outrigger.

RCMP, the BC Coroners Service and WorksafeBC continue to investigate what happened.

Crews were back at work on Monday, and a makeshift memorial with flowers were set up by the fencing surrounding the site, and outpourings of grief came from strangers on social media.

On Sunday, a account was set up entitled “Supporting Sebastian Gomez’s Family” with a goal of raising $50,000 for the wife and two young children left behind.

“With profound sadness, we all try to cope with the fact that at the age of 24 years old, there was a man that was taken away from his family, friends, and coworkers,” the page says.

Obando was born in Colombia, and moved to Sherbrooke, Que., in 2005 or 2006, according to someone who knew his friends in Quebec. He moved to B.C. in recent years, and just two weeks prior to the accident, his parents and younger brother moved to B.C. from Alberta to be closer together.

“Sebastian and his brother have had some time to bond, and at the age of 16 he had the opportunity to have one driving lesson with his big brother,” the GoFundMe page says. “It is unfortunate there cannot be more; but he had one. I am sure it will be forever treasured.”

By Wednesday morning, $15,325 had been raised on the GoFundMe account. The page asks for anything anyone can contribute to help the family and children cope financially, but also even with prayers.

“As their children grow, they need to hear by those close family and friends of how wonderful their dad was.”

An employee of PSI Concrete Pumping who Gomez worked for said anyone not comfortable with donating online can go to any Coast Capital Credit Union branch and donate to Trust of Mariana Valencia, an account that will close on Sept. 14.

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