WorkSafeBC’s investigation into the tragic collapse of a crane in Kelowna's downtown core continues one year and eight months later.
Four young construction workers – Cailen Vilness, Jared Zook, and Patrick and Eric Stemmer – were killed on July 12, 2021 when they were taking down a large tower crane at the Mission Group's Bernard Block project.
In the collapse, the crane boom struck another adjacent building, killing Brad Zawislak who was inside.
Following the horrific incident, WorkSafeBC, the BC Coroners Service and the RCMP all began independent, parallel investigations into what led to the fatal collapse.
In an email to Castanet, WorkSafeBC confirms they are in the final stages of the investigation, although at the one year memorial, WorkSafeBC also said their investigation was nearing the end.
"WorkSafeBC has been working with subject-matter experts and engineers to examine the crane components, sequence of events, and work procedures that took place during the crane dismantling process. WorkSafeBC investigators have also examined all relevant documentation and other evidence, in addition to conducting witness interviews," said Yesenia Dhott, WorkSafe media relation officer, in an email Thursday.
"WorkSafeBC is in the final investigative stages. However, at this time, we do not have a timeline for you on the release of the investigation report," Dhott added.
Danielle Pritchett, mother of Cailen Vilness, tells Castanet she is stuck in a holding pattern waiting for answers.
"This drags out the pain. I want them to do a thorough job because I want to know who is responsible. It is important that the job is done thoroughly too so I am a little bit in limbo. It's like an open wound. I want to know what happened to my son. It's hard not knowing," Pritchett said.