Thursday, March 23, 2023

Construction halted at Argyle ISD facility

Daniel Moran, 22, was killed Tuesday morning at the Argyle ISD work site.
Daniel Moran, 22, was killed Tuesday morning at the Argyle ISD work site.

All construction has been halted at the indoor athletic facility at Argyle High School after Argyle Independent School District board of trustees met in an emergency meeting late Tuesday. Daniel Moran, 22, was killed Tuesday morning, becoming the second construction worker to die at the site in less than a week.

Moran died when he became hung up in the back wheels of a semi-trailer truck on Argyle school property near where an athletic building collapsed last Thursday, officials said.

The accident occurred as the 18-wheeler was being slowly backed up onto the property, said Troy Taylor, the chief investigator for the Denton County branch of the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Moran was guiding the tractor on the passenger or right side of the vehicle while his grandfather, Bonifaco Moran was guiding on the left or driver’s side, Taylor said. Moran’s father, Jose Moran, was driving the vehicle.

The trio was hired by Precision Demolition, which was sub-contracted by Northstar Builders, a company hired to build the 46,000-square-foot indoor athletic facility that collapsed last Thursday, according to Taylor.

Taylor said the name of the family business or what it was hired to do were not yet known though he said it likely could have been connected to construction clean-up on the site.

The 22-year-old, who lived in Haslet, was helping to guide the vehicle when he became entangled in the back rear tires of the second trailer, Taylor said. Moran was pronounced dead at 10:27 a.m. Argyle residents are raising money for the Moran familyhere.

The worker is the second killed in less than a week at the site. Julio Ledesma, 36, was killed last Thursday when an indoor athletic facility collapsed.

The 46,000-square foot building was under construction when it fell, hitting a crane where the worker was inside a bucket 30 feet in the air, and tipping it over, Hohenberger said.

Argyle residents have been raising money to help the Ledesma family. According to the GoFundMe website, he was a single father of three girls. To date, an estimated $19,100 has been raised for the Ledesma family.

As part of a $45 million bond package passed last year, the indoor facility was to include a 60-yard field to allow indoor practices for athletics and band during inclement weather.

At the time of the collapse, the structure was mostly comprised of large steel support beams. Construction on the project began in December, according to district documents. A mound of steel covered several construction vehicles at the scene.

The project was being built by Northstar Builders, according to a bond update posted on the Argyle ISD website.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials are conducting an investigation into the cause of the building collapse, officials said.

Following an almost two-hour closed session, the Argyle ISD school board voted unanimously to retain a safety consultant to represent the district and advise the board regarding a contract with Northstar and Corbin and all projects involved. The motion was made by board member Brian Ratcliff and seconded by Spencer Jeffries.

Bruce Helm, president, and Aaron Scates, chief operations officers, were asked by board president Eric Fields whether they would be willing to suspend the pending projects under the existing contract, conduct a safety stand down and review all safety procedures for the projects with a written report to the board prior to resuming work at no cost to the district. When both responded yes, the board considered a motion by board member Craig Hawkesworth and seconded by Jeffries and unanimously voted to accept Northstar’s willingness to suspend all work and provide a written report to the board.

On the company’s website, a note was issued on the two incidents: “We are deeply saddened by the deaths of these good men. Our hearts go out to their families, friends and co-workers. Northstar Builders Group is responding with all available resources to ensure the Argyle project goes forward toward a successful completion. We are cooperating fully in the investigation and we do not have all the answers at this time. We look forward to a clear understanding of what happened and the factors that contributed to the accidents.”

CTG Staff
CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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