MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A construction worker was killed early Wednesday morning when a Metromover car collided with a piece of construction equipment.
The worker’s widow, Stephanie Cabrera, tells CBS 4’s Peter D’Oench that ironically, her husband was obsessed with safety and she is speaking out.
“He was the world to us,” she said. “He meant the world to us. He was a good person. He was a great person. “I want to know how this accident happened. My husband worked at this job for 18 to 20 years and worked at this project for a year. Safety was his top concern. Right now I don’t know anything. My question is how, how did this happen?”
The accident happened near NW 1st Avenue and 5th Street just before 1 a.m.
Oscar Cabrera and Luis Perez were on a boom lift at the Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. station when it was hit by a Metromover car. Both workers were thrown from the lift on impact.
Perez, who was wearing a harness, ended up dangling from a ledge. He was helped down by fellow workers.
Cabrera plummeted to the ground.
“When fire rescue arrived they found numerous construction workers huddling around one coworker in extremely critical condition, he was not breathing at the time. Paramedics performed CPR and transported him to the Ryder Trauma Center,” said Miami Fire Rescue Captain Ignatius Carroll Jr.
Cabrera, 43, died as the result of his injuries.
“We are saddened by this tragic incident,” said Alice N. Bravo, P.E., director of the Department of Transportation and Public Works. “It occurred while a non-County contractor was performing work adjacent to the guideway of our Metromover station outside of regular transit scheduled operating hours. We are cooperating with the investigating authorities. Safety has always been a top priority for Miami-Dade Transit and we will continue to put safety first in all that we do.”
Cabrera’s wife Stephanie said she doesn’t understand how this could have happened.
“My thoughts are that I don’t know what happened to him because Oscar was all about safety and wearing his helmet and his belt and he was always talking to me about safety and how we needed to be safe,” said Cabrera. “So this is a shock to me that this happened to him.”
Perez, 37, who was also taken to the hospital, was treated and released.
Other construction workers in the area were stunned when they heard what had happened.
“This is devastating. I work in things like that myself, I drive the boom lifts and all that,” construction worker Paul Mincey. “But as far as that being as close to that as it was, it’s a tragedy. One survived and one didn’t, that could have been me.”
The Metromover train was on a maintenance run at the time of the accident, no passengers were onboard.
Mincey, who works at another construction site, said when he’s working, safety is job one.
“When I see something like this I think God Almighty. I can still come home and see my grandchildren, everybody is trying to get home every day. For this to happen it is very unfortunate,” he said.
Cabrera and Perez work for the Suffolk construction company. They were working on the new All Aboard Florida Miami Terminal.
“We learned about this terribly sad incident early this morning, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two individuals involved. We are currently working closely with the Miami-Dade police department, Miami-Dade Transit, and OSHA as they continue to investigate the cause of this accident,” said Suffolk spokeswoman Karen Vaughan.
The Miami Terminal will be the southernmost stop for the express passenger rail service that will run from Orlando to Miami in just under three hours.