Barge Worker Hit in Head by 55 Gallon Oil Drum Dies in Missouri Bridge Accident

Posted in Barge Accidents,Jones Act,Missouri Maritime News on June 14, 2013

BRIDGETON, MO. — A construction worker reparing a barge connected to the Blanchette Bridge rehabilitation project, was killed on Monday, June 10, after being hit in the head by a 55 gallon of oil. According to Lt. Colin Fogarty with the U.S. Coast Guard. the worker was repairing a barge with a crane that had broken free from the Blanchette Bridge two Saturdays ago and came to rest near the Discovery Bridge, where it was secured.


The St. Louis Post Dispatch reported that the accident occured at around 10:30 a.m. Monday morning, June 10, when the man was on a barge downstream from the Blanchette Bridge over the Missouri River when a 55-gallon drum fell on him.


The worker, employed by Walsh Construction at the time of the incident, has been identified as 51-year-old Patrick Bray of Jerseyville, Ill.

Walsh Construction released the following statement early Monday evening:

“Walsh Construction Company is deeply saddened to report that an accident on the Blanchette Bridge Rehab over the Missouri River Project took the life of a valued employee. This morning, the employee died as a result of injuries sustained when he was struck by a 55 gallon drum during work connected with the Project. Out of respect for friends and family, Walsh has chosen not to disclose the identity of the deceased at this time.

“Our deepest, heartfelt sympathy is extended to the friends and family of the deceased, and our thoughts and prayers are with them. The safety and security of our employees is of utmost importance to the Walsh family. Work has been halted while the company focuses on providing support to co-workers and friends on the project. A thorough investigation has begun to determine the cause of this accident.”

The incident remains under investigation at this time.

Blog post by barge injury lawyer Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP