BOSTON (WHDH) - Two families have been left heartbroken from a deadly accident in Boston’s financial district Wednesday morning.
A growing vigil filled with candles and roses sits just steps away from where 32-year-old Carlos Gutierrez and 27-year-old Jordan Romero were tragically hit by a truck at their construction job on High Street.
“I just didn’t expect today that God was going to take my brother,” Romero’s sister Leslie Villalobos said.
Romero was a newlywed father of two children who are currently in El Salvador.
“He was just trying to find a way to make money to get his children out here,” Villalobos said. “He was a very hard-working man.”
Gutierrez’s family told 7NEWS the Guatemalan native was living in Chelsea.
“He was hard-working. He was working for his family, trying to do the best…give the best to them,” sister Edna Gutierrez said.
A witness said a dump truck backed into the two men, knocking them into a trench.
“Once we made the scene safe, we loaded a Boston firefighter and a paramedic into the hole to assess the patients,” said Boston Fire Commissioner John Dempsey. “At that point, it was determined we were going to shift from rescue into recovery mode.”
According to Dempsey, the men were pronounced dead at the scene.
Speaking at the scene, Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins said, “Right now we don’t know if it’s a crime; we know that it’s a tragedy and my office is here making sure these families know that we take this very seriously.”
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh added that the city is working closely with authorities to determine what caused this incident and that Atlantic Coast Utilities will not be allowed to perform work in the city until an investigation is complete.
“As a former laborer, the safety of our workers is of paramount importance to me,” he said. “I’m heartbroken that two hardworking people lost their lives so suddenly and tragically this morning, and we will work tirelessly to understand how this happened in order to create safer conditions in the future.”
7NEWS has learned that the company was cited for serious safety violations in 2016 and 2019.
Three violations for lack of collapse protection and trenching hazards were lodged against them in 2016 for a job in Boston and they were ordered to pay close to $35,000 in penalties.
According to OSHA, the employer never paid the money so the case was referred to the US Department of Treasury for debt collection.
In 2019, OSHA records indicate the company was cited for two serious violations involving trenching safety and employee training during a job in East Boston. They were fined $7,500 but contested the penalty and the citation was later withdrawn.
Now, the heartbroken families are grieving the loss as they wait for the results of the investigation.
“I just want him to know he’s never going to be forgotten,” Villalobos said. “I always looked up to him as my older brother, so I know he’s going to be with me forever.”
Atlantic Coast Utilities has not commented on the incident.
Boston police, the Suffolk County District Attorney, and OSHA are all investigating.
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