Single Mom Dead After Being Trapped Under Forklift While Working at Construction Site

A single mom has died after she was injured while working at a construction site at an Oregon high school last week

Published Time: 05.06.2024 - 19:31:05 Modified Time: 05.06.2024 - 19:31:05

A single mom has died after she was injured while working at a construction site at an Oregon high school last week.

Samantha "Sam" Deschenes was trapped under a forkliftat Benson Polytechnic High School on May 30, according to thePortlandTribune andCBS affiliate KOIN.

Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) told PEOPLE that their team and a private ambulance service responded "to an incident that involved a piece of heavy machinery that rolled over and momentarily pinned a construction worker."

They added, "PF&R assisted in the field treatment along with being present during the transport as paramedics from both agencies provided appropriate medical interventions based on the nature of the injuries."

"The patient arrived at the hospital alive, but suffered a medical event there related to the accident and did not survive," the department said. 

Ironworkers LocalUnion29, a union representing workers in Portland, said in a Facebook post that Deschenes died a day later on Saturday, June 1.

"It is with great sorrow that we confirm the loss of one of our members due to injuries sustained in a jobsite accident," the union wrote. 

Her family "has requested privacy and respect as they grieve," they group noted, before adding that they will not be making anymore statements while an investigation by the Oregon Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is ongoing.

Andersen Construction, the company behi -

nd the project at the high school, said Deschenes was a “valued team member,” per The Independent.

“She had been working on the Benson High School project for the past year, and a member of Local 29 Ironworkers for the last three years," the company added.

The project has since been suspended “in the interest of the health and well-being of our team members” amid an investigation by safety and health officials, the outlet reported.

PEOPLE has reached out to Oregon OSHA, Andersen Construction and Ironworkers Local Union 29 for comment.

The union is collecting donations for Deschenes' family, while Andersen Construction said it will match the contributions.

“Our primary focus is helping Sam’s family as well as providing mental health support to our team members,” the construction company said, per The Independent.

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According to The Oregonian, Deschenes sent a letter to legislators in support of rebuilding the Interstate 5 bridge. Noting that she was a single mom, she said she hoped to work one day on the replacement bridge linking Oregon to Washington.

“I cross this bridge daily, and to be able to look at it and tell my son ‘Mom built that’ would be a part of my legacy,” she wrote.

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