Victims in fatal Pearl Harbor shipyard accident identified

Published: Dec. 11, 2014 at 10:53 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 12, 2014 at 9:44 AM HST
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Three workers were injured and two were killed in a buoy accident in Pearl Harbor in 2014
Three workers were injured and two were killed in a buoy accident in Pearl Harbor in 2014

PEARL HARBOR (HawaiiNewsNow) - The investigation into a tragic accident at Pearl Harbor continues. The Honolulu Medical Examiner has identified the two men who were killed on the job Wednesday.

Authorities preliminarily think the 10,000 pound buoy was being lifted by a crane, but the buoy separated and fell to the platform below.

The medical examiner says 42 year old Joefrey Andrada of Waipahu and 30 year old Justin Saragosa of Kapolei were killed.  David Makua broke his leg when he jumped out of the way and caught in a large chain. A fourth unidentified victim also went to the hospital hurting his knee jumping out of the way of the falling buoy.

"The big tragedy here is that the people who are dead can't be brought back to life. The people that are injured that are injured can only be healed as good as the medical facilities that are available and the rest of it is in the hands of the almighty," said Jay Friedheim, Workers Compensation Attorney.

Friedheim is a workers compensation attorney specializing in longshoreman accidents like this one.  He says cases like this can take years to resolve.  Even if the company involved, Healy Tibbitts, wanted to help its employees it's the insurance companies that can be the roadblock.

"These are among the toughest players on the block in the business in America, anywhere," said Friedheim. "Once I had a Healy Tibbitts case in which they owed me $350 in attorney's fees. They appealed my right to get those attorneys fees to the Supreme Court of the United States. It took me four and a half years and at the end of it I got my $350."

His point, workers compensation is a long process with plenty of legal issues ahead.

The medical examiners report said the two men died from accidental blunt force trauma to the head and body. The police report also said it was an accident.

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