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Construction worker, 17, dies after fall from scaffolding at Freeport site, police say

The Freeport police at the scene in Freeport

The Freeport police at the scene in Freeport Monday where, authorities said, two construction workers fell 30 feet. Photo Credit: Jim Staubitser

One of two construction workers who fell about 25 feet to the ground when their makeshift scaffolding collapsed at a worksite Monday in Freeport has died, authorities said Tuesday.

The victim was identified as Alberto Mejia-Montoya, 17, of Hempstead, by Nassau police, who confirmed the death in a news release Tuesday evening. He had suffered "multiple life-threatening injuries," including a skull fracture. Police had previously said he was 18.

Freeport Mayor Robert T. Kennedy had said earlier in a phone interview: "I offer my prayers and our condolences to the family,"  adding: "It's just a shame, an unfortunate incident, and we offer our condolences from the Village of Freeport."

The second worker, 30, whose identity has not been disclosed, was transported to a hospital with a minor shoulder injury, Nassau police said.

Freeport Village attorney Howard Colton said Monday the men were building a new home on South Bayview Avenue on Monday afternoon when the scaffolding, made of two-by-four planks, collapsed. The project, being undertaken by Spanglish Home Improvements of Hempstead, had proper building permits, Colton said. But, he said, village building inspectors at the scene issued several violations, including citations for unsafe conditions.

Mejia-Montoya is believed to be the son of the home improvement company owner, according to authorities, but that could not be confirmed by family members or relatives. Calls to the company owner, listed as Alberto Mejia, went unanswered Tuesday. An earlier story incorrectly identified him and the company's name.

OSHA inspectors are investigating the cause of the accident.

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