Sidney grad killed in accident

Staff and wire reports



MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — A Sidney High School graduate was killed Wednesday night when a TV transmission tower he was working on collapsed. Two other workers were also killed.

Marcus Goffena, 31, of Sidney, and the other two men died when the scaffolding used to reach the top of a 100-story tall transmission tower for two Miami television stations collapsed.

“I know his family very well,” said Sidney City Schools Superintendent John Scheu. “I was his youth basketball coach.”

Scheu said Goffena was a 2005 graduate of Sidney High School.

“He was a standout baseball and football player for Sidney,” said Scheu. “This is a tremendous loss and a very regrettable tragedy.”

Scheu said Goffena and his family are well known in the school district and the community.

“His father, uncles and cousins were all SHS graduates. They were all good athletes,” he said.

According to the Miami Gardens Police Department, also killed in the accident were Brachton Barber, 23, of Longwood, Fla., and Benito Rodiguez, 35, of Tampa, Fla. All three were pronounced dead at the scene by Miami Dade Fire Rescue.

Miami Gardens police Chief Delma Noel-Pratt tells news outlets the men were working late Wednesday afternoon at the more than 1,000-foot (305-meter) tower.

The three victims, said the press release, were attached with safety straps to a Gin Pole being supported by the transmission tower. The three were near the top of the 1,000-foot tower.

A malfunction occurred and the Gin Pole fell from the tower. The investigation into the accident is continuing. Personnel from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration are assisting in the investigation.

Officials say the tower transmits signals for WPLG and WSVN in Miami. The men were contract workers for Towerking II, a Cedar Hill, Texas, company that builds and maintains television antennas. Scheu said Goffena had worked for the company for several years.

FCC Antenna Tower Registration records say the 1,032-foot (314-meter) tower was built in 2009 and is owned by Miami Tower, LLC.

WSVN owner and president Edmund Ansin said in a statement that the men were performing work required by the FCC.

Funeral arrangements for Goffena are pending at Cromes-Edwards Funeral Home, Sidney.


Staff and wire reports