Construction Worker Falls from Bridge in Southern Bates County

From the desk of Bates County Sheriff Chad Anderson

On or about 7/22/21 at approximately 21:50 hours the Bates County Sheriff’s Office received a call-in reference to a construction worker that had possibly fallen from a bridge located on M highway in southern Bates County. Upon arrival deputies were directed to the located of a male subject in the water below the bridge. Bates County Deputies requested assistance for a potential water rescue at the scene.

Multiple departments including Rockville Fire, Rich Hill Fire, Butler Fire Department, Missouri Conservation Department, Vernon County Sheriff’s Office, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol responded to assist.

Shortly after it was determined that the male subject was deceased, and the operation turned from a water rescue to a water recovery effort. Because of the location of the incident gaining access to the male subject was difficult and took a team of people to recover him. The recovery was conducted by many of the above-mentioned agencies along with the Bates County Coroner Greg Mullinax and his Deputy Coroner.

After the recovery the case turned into a death investigation. It was determined that the subject was working on the bridge after hours alone cutting relief cuts on the newly poured side walls. The scene indicated that during cutting the relief cuts either a malfunction occurred with the saw causing it to kick back or he lost balance on the scaffolding on the side of the bridge and fell over/under the railing.

An autopsy was performed on Saturday 7/24 with the preliminary findings indicating no foul play.