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Published: Friday, 2/14/2014 - Updated: 1 year ago


Moment of silence to remember bridge workers

Sunday marks 10th anniversary of deaths


The city of Toledo and leaders of several construction-trades unions have asked Toledoans to observe a moment of silence Sunday afternoon on the 10th anniversary of a crane accident that killed four workers at the Veterans' Glass City Skyway construction site.

Robert Lipinski, Mike Moreau, Mike Phillips, and Arden Clark II all died when a massive gantry truss crane being used to erect the $237 million bridge over the Maumee River collapsed while it was being repositioned. Four other workers were seriously injured.

"For all of those who worked on the Veterans' Glass City Skyway, it was a dream job for them to build something that our community will have for years to come," said Joe Blaze III, business manager of Ironworkers' Local 55, of which all four of those killed were members. "We as a union will never forget the brothers that we lost and we ask the community to join us in remembering them.".

The moment of silence is scheduled for 2:22 p.m., the time of the collapse on Feb. 16, 2004.

Injured in the accident were ironworkers Josh Collins and Roger Henneman and Allan Hedge and Mark Buck, members of Operating Engineers Local 18.

"The iconic span of the Skyway is a constant reminder of the marvels of our accomplishments, but it is also a constant reminder that our community lost four of its own in the process," Mayor D. Michael Collins said. "I urge all residents of Toledo and the surrounding area to join us in a moment of silence at 2:22 p.m. to honor these men."

Delayed significantly by the accident, the I-280 bridge opened in June, 2007. Two months before the bridge's dedication a fifth project worker, carpenter Andrew Burris, died when the work platform he occupied broke free from the structure's side and plunged 82 feet to the ground below.

All five men are named on a workers' memorial in Tribute Park, on the upstream side of the Skyway's East Toledo approach, that was dedicated in 2011.

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