Workman killed by falling 50-lb. sandbag

SALEM — A Lynn man died Saturday afternoon after being struck in the head by a 50-pound sandbag that fell from a three-story brick building on Washington Street.

Juan Alvarado, 39, was pronounced dead at Salem Hospital at 1:08 p.m. Saturday, according to police Sgt. Kathleen Makros.

Alvarado was a part of a roofing crew with Sosa Construction of Beverly and had been walking near the building at 60 Washington St. when he was struck, Makros said.

Chad O’Connell of Salem was walking down Washington Street near the Dunkin Donuts when he heard cries for help in Spanish.

“I heard the guy scream from behind the truck,” said O’Connell, who works at Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery. “I ended up calling the police and ambulance. I don’t think he was even alive when they got there.”

O’Connell could not initially see what had happened because a truck and Dumpster was blocking the view from the street.

When he arrived at the accident, about four other people were surrounding Alvarado, O’Connell said. He first thought the man had fallen from the roof, but later learned the bag had struck him.

O’Connell said he phoned for help; the call came in to police at 12:24 p.m.

Sgt. Marc Berube was the first officer to arrive and started CPR right away, Makros said.

Fire and ambulance would soon follow and continue attempts to resuscitate Alvarado, she said.

“He was gray,” O’Connell said of Alvarado. “He wasn’t with us when they got there.”

Officials from OSHA, the state police and Salem police Detective Sgt. James Page were called to investigate the accident, Makros said. Attempts to reach an official at OSHA yesterday were unsuccessful.

At this time, the death is believed to be an accident, Makros said. It appeared that Alvarado had been in the wrong place at the wrong time, she said.

There was no answer at the Sosa Construction’s number yesterday afternoon.

Victor Sosa Construction is listed at 7 Bailey Ave. in Beverly, with Victor Sosa as its president, treasurer and secretary, according to the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s corporations division.