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Washington Announces Fines In Bridge Demolition That Killed Couple, Infant Son

Ted S. Warren
Caution tape is shown under the state Route 410 overpass, Tuesday, April 14, 2015, the day after a young couple and their son were killed when a concrete slab fell from the overpass in Bonney Lake, Wash., and crushed their vehicle.

The state of Washington has issued workplace safety fines in a bridge demolition accident that killed a couple and their infant son. The fines announced Monday target four construction contractors.

On April 14, workers were building a pedestrian walkway on a highway overpass in Bonney Lake southeast of Tacoma. Suddenly a concrete barrier fell onto the road below crushing a vehicle passing underneath. Killed were Josh and Vanessa Ellis and their eight-month-old son Hudson.

Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries has now cited and fined the four contractors involved for workplace safety hazards. The biggest fine was issued to Eugene, Oregon-based Staton Companies -- nearly $60,000.

One of the findings of the investigation is that Staton allowed work to continue despite concerns about the barrier falling down during demolition. A lawyer for the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

All four companies have 15 days to appeal.

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