Thursday, February 19, 2009
A subcontractor who died when his safety boat capsized under the Shands Bridge Wednesday has been identified as Benjamin F. Heyward, 61, of Jacksonville. A co-worker who suffered minor injuries in the accident has been identified as Lakia L. Kiser, 33, of Jacksonville. Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the 11:30 a.m. accident on the St. Johns River at the border of Clay and St. Johns counties, said Karen Parker, a spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Heyward and Kiser were in an 18-foot Capecraft monitoring an inspection being done by a Florida Department of Transportation crew hanging from baskets under the bridge. The boat began to take on water and capsized, sending the pair into the river. Someone from the work crew tossed life vests into the river and Kiser was able to grab one. A man on the crew jumped into the river and grabbed Heyward, who was unconscious. Another person on the work crew deployed a life raft and a third crewman jumped into the raft and pulled Kiser to safety. Heyward was pronounced dead at the scene. This is the FWC report. The subcontractors worked for Acme Barricades, Parker said. See this also.