Updated: Roofer Dies in Fall Near Ames Lake

The King County Sheriff's Office has confirmed two people fell from a roof in unincorporated Redmond earlier today.

Editor's note: An updated post with information about the deceased man has been published here: http://patch.com/A-0cwD.


Update, 5:45 p.m.: The man who died in a fall near Ames Lake on Friday afternoon was one of two workers patching a roof, Sgt. Katie Larson of the King County Sheriff's Department said.

“It would appear at this point as though they slipped off and fell,” Larson said.

The incident took place at a private residence in the 3100 block of West Ames Lake Drive. Larson said both workers fell about 50 feet on to a concrete walkway. 

One of the men was pronounced dead at the scene, and the other man suffered broken bones, Larson said. His injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.

The ages and hometowns of the men were not immediately available.


Original post: A man died Friday afternoon after falling from a roof near Ames Lake in unincorporated Redmond.

Sgt. Katie Larson of the King County Sheriff's Office said a call came in at around 4:30 p.m. reporting two men had fallen from a roof.

"One was dead at the scene, and the other was taken to a hospital," Larson said, adding that criminal activity is not suspected.

The Redmond Fire Department responded to the scene. Patch is attempting to gather more information and will post any additional details as they become available.

Bob McCoy December 01, 2012 at 05:57 AM
This is a sad story. Best wishes for the injured worker, and condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.
Jeanne Gustafson December 01, 2012 at 03:24 PM
I agree, Bob, sounds like a really tragic accident.
David December 01, 2012 at 07:29 PM
I was there. Despite the severity of his own injuries, the second man worked valiantly to resuscitate his mortally injured coworker and friend. It was truly tragic and heart breaking.
Shelley Little December 01, 2012 at 09:22 PM
I want to say thank you for the support. The man who passed is my brother in law. He is a great man is missed and loved beyond belife.
Ed Golden December 01, 2012 at 09:29 PM
This is an unfortunate and tragic event. I have been in the Roof Restoration business for over 30 years and have been a safety first employer. These young men and women in some cases are being put at risk by their greedy employers. The lack of training and the lack of adequte fall protection anchorage points ( tie off for ropes ) in conjuntion with these issues employees are paid piece work. This adds to the problem by giving the employee an incentive to hurry up. The Dept. of Labor and Industries can not keep up with enforcement efforts to see that these gulity employers keep these men and women safe. This is just one of the many preventable tragities that many feel is just the cost of doing business.
anthony davis December 01, 2012 at 10:20 PM
My heart goes out to there family's it's very tragic when this happens hit hits home to many roofers it has with me. Yes there is a lot of greed in the roofing industry, employers are paying roofers 1970 wages and expect safety and good work and they will never get it either way if they continue to pay roofers like this.
Shelley Little December 01, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Just to let you all know. It was the owner of the company that passed away. The other roofer is still at harborveiw, and they had been friends for over 30 years. We are a family of roofers and all know the risk. I does not make what happened any easier to deal with. We are still waiting on the details. But the bottom line is he is gone and a good family friend in in the hospital
Ed Golden December 01, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Hi Shelly, I am not sure if your brother in law was the contractor or an employee, but I will offer you and your family my 30 + years in the industry as an expert witness or just a resource for info. should the need arise. I have been testifiing in front of the Washington State Building Code Council, as well as working with Labor and Industries for the past 3 years to get them to take a look at the high risk nature of residential roof maintenance to try to prevent these tragic events. If I can help in any way call Ed @ 206-714-9713 Thanks
Jeanne Gustafson December 02, 2012 at 12:16 AM
My heart goes out to you and your family, Shelley. So sorry for your loss.
Sherrylee Hamilton December 02, 2012 at 05:59 AM
I'm so sorry Shelley, we live next door to his family. He would come over and help us with our canopy when it would flip from the wind storms, he would also talk with my husband about playing music. I could tell he really cared about his family and he was a truly nice man and great neighbor. Our heart goes out to his family, especially his wife. This is such a horrible tragedy :(
David December 02, 2012 at 06:31 AM
Shelley, Out of respect I wont mention names. I was there as his friend tried to revive him; I got there just after it happened. He worked so hard at performing CPR even though he was very seriously injured himself, he would not give up, would not leave his “best man” as he said. I could tell right away they were much more than just work associates. I so wished there was something more I could have done. I have been in the construction trades for over 30 years, so I understand the risks just like other contractors. It is never easy to lose a loved one be they friend or family. My heart and prayers go out to your family. David G.
Shelley Little December 02, 2012 at 06:45 AM
David. Thank you so much. We have not heard any confirmed details yet. Can you please tell me if it was quick? I just need to know. I can't even get his brother out of bed today.
Shelley Little December 02, 2012 at 06:49 AM
Sherylee please tell the family up there that I cannot get my husband out of bed today. I will try and get him up there tomorrow. He is really depressed, just like the rest of us. I love everyone out there so much. And wanna be there but can't leave his brother
David December 02, 2012 at 07:30 AM
I was driving down the road and stopped one house up from where the accident happened to check on the address as I was looking for a customer’s house. I looked out my drivers window and saw JXXX standing there, I opened the window, at first I thought he had been in a bad car accident. He was very badly banged up. He had his cell phone and said he needed the address so he could tell the 911 operator where he was. He said that he and his buddy had just fallen off the roof and that the friend was unconscious. I had the address in my hand so I gave it to him and he relayed it to the operator. He was very disoriented. I saw one of the neighbors standing in their front door so I said call 911 now. I turned around and JXXX was gone. So I parked and went looking for him. I found the green roofing truck down a couple of houses, and followed a rock stair path where I figured he went. I found him down around back of a three story 1980s home giving CPR to his friend. The 911 operator was on speaker phone giving him instructions.
David December 02, 2012 at 07:30 AM
The man on the ground looked as though when he fell he hit the upper balcony railing first tearing off a section. It was lying on the ground next to his body. I moved the railing out of the way so there was more room. I am not entirely sure where JXXX hit the ground but from the look of the ladder it looked like he hit some small trees & bushes farther down the hill but I am not certain. While the man who died hit the railing and then the aggregate path another 25 feet below that on his back. I am not entirely sure exactly where on the roof they were, before the accident. But it was all very high. 40 to 50 feet up. The roof is one of those old slick shake jobs with lots of tree sludge on it and it was raining. I believe the man who died was alive but unconscious after the first impact and died shortly after he landded on the aggregate. I wish I could tell you more but I was more concerned about getting back up the hill when the EMT’s where trying to find them so I could lead them back down there.
David December 02, 2012 at 07:31 AM
When the EMT’s arrived you could tell right away by the look on their faces they were pretty sure he was probably not going to make it. The EMT’s took over from JXXX. JXXX slumped back and sat under a bush next to his friend’s body. I put my hand on his shoulder asked him his name and tried to be comforting. The EMT’s sent me up the hill to direct the additional EMT’s that were on their way. Latter I saw JXXX walking up the hill, he was hunched over but under his own power escorted by two EMT’s. He was in shock, and holding his ribs. There was nothing else I could do after that so I left.
David December 02, 2012 at 07:39 AM
I believe it all happened very fast and he was probobly unconscious after the first couple of seconds. But JXXX is really the only one who knows the actual details of the accident
Shirley December 02, 2012 at 08:03 PM
David, I am a family member of the deceased as well. Thank you for giving us your commentary on your observations. By doing so, you are helping us to begin to process this tragic event. I am so grateful for the assistance you provided at the scene.
Jeanne Gustafson December 02, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Yes, thank you David for your compassionate recount of the events as you saw them. Again, so sorry for the family members of this man who lost a loved one, and my sincere hopes that his brave friend pulls through ok. Sometimes accidents are just accidents, but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with. It sounds like his colleague went to heroic efforts, and I really appreciate your comments.
Jacob December 03, 2012 at 03:54 AM
The man who died was my uncle. I will be 17 next week and I couldnt be any more sad. My uncle was a very safety concious man and was the owner of this company. He was one of the nicest people ive ever had in my life. I pray for him like no other and I hope he looks down on my family as we all get through this process. My only wish is that I could have said goodbye and shown him how much I really love him. Id do anythin to see my uncle one last time. R.I.P. Unc. You will never be forgotten this will be the hardest birthday ive ever had
Caitlin Moran December 03, 2012 at 06:59 AM
I'm so sorry for your loss, Jacob. It sounds like your uncle was a great man, and I'm sure he knew your feelings toward him, even if you didn't get a chance to express them as often as you would have liked.
Andrew Ramerman December 03, 2012 at 07:55 PM
I too was friends with the deceased. It has hit me, and everyone I have talked too very hard. He was extremely well liked and respected by everyone that knew him. He was a good friend and mentor to me. It is a great loss. Everyone I have spoken too about it feels the same way, they just cant believe, of all the people for this to happen too, it was him. Not just because he was IRON MAN, but because of his experience and knowledge, and own safety standards. He truely was the best of the best, and everyone knew it. He was they guy that took on the challanges that most would walk away from. He could do it all. I am deeply saddened to loose my friend, mentor, coworker, and former employer.
Shirley December 03, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Shame on you Ed Golden for jumping to conclusions in the early hours of a tragedy. You especially didn't have to use language like "greedy employers" ... and then you go on to call yourself and expert and authority. A professional, expert and authority would not speak at such an early time without knowing what the hell happened. You strike me as an ambulance chaser.
Caitlin Moran December 03, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Condolences, once again, to everyone who lost their family member or friend in this accident. I'd like to put together a short follow-up item to provide insight into who this man was and what impact he made on the community. If any family members or friends are willing to share their memories, please contact me at 425-440-1280 or Caitlin.Moran@patch.com. Please also feel free to continue expressing your thoughts in this comment forum. -Caitlin Moran, editor
LORIANNE TAFF December 04, 2012 at 08:35 AM
Ed Golden, Shame On You! It seems to me that someone who calls themselves an expert witness might want to get their facts straight before they go shooting their mouths off. Callous, opportunistic people like you are the problem with the construction industry; not the hard working, blue collar, business owner that just lost his life doing his best to earn a living while people like you sit in a nice, dry, safe office and judge what you don't have the courage to do. And to advertise your number...Again, Shame On You! To the Little Family- My Prayers are with you.
John Sutton December 04, 2012 at 10:37 PM
IDK what to say except, we will all miss him. A Great Brother to me. Honest and true to himself, as anyone I've ever met. A very fun loving, family oriented, true Gentleman. I am so sorry to the Family.,,,,,,,Oh, and by the way, Ed Golden? Piss Off!! John


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