ORANGE PARK, Fla. — An Orange Park family is mourning the loss of a husband and father following his tragic death.
Action News Jax first told you when a man was trapped under a collapsed mobile home Tuesday. Will Bailey, 36, of Orange Park died at the hospital later that day.
“I just want to be able to get him back to his mom so she can say goodbye to him,“ Melanie Bailey said.
She is making funeral arrangements for her husband of 17 years.
“I can honestly say that he was the love of my life. I was the love of his life,“ Melanie Bailey said.
Melanie Bailey explained that her husband, Will, loved his kids, and was an avid football player. He also had a big heart.
“I actually just got a message today [Wednesday] from someone I never met before,“ she said. “I guess a few years ago, they met my husband at a 7-Eleven in New York. The guy was a few dollars short for something that his 5-year-old wanted, and my husband just took it out of his pocket and paid for it for him.“
Will Bailey worked for a company called New Beginning & Start, LLC. He was removing equipment from underneath a mobile home on Plummer Grant Road in Mandarin when it collapsed.
“I saw the trailer and saw how it was very wavy and very unstable.” Melanie Bailey said. “He knew it was unstable, and I’m just angry that he would put himself in that position and go under the trailer.“
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office released a police report on Wednesday. In it, the company’s co-owner told officers the mobile home was on cinder blocks. Will Bailey was underneath it, trying to move the wheel axle, when the home collapsed. Action News Jax was originally told by neighbors and JFRD that there were plans to transport this mobile home to the Northside of Jacksonville for another family to live in.
In a JSO police report, the company’s co-owner said “a mobile home was in the process of being classified as unsafe.”
The other co-owner later clarified in this statement sent to Action News Jax:
“This has been a terrible lost of not only a great contractor but also a great friend.
"We wanted to address the comments as well as the concerns of the home and inform that we were not in attempt to move the home, but in the process of removing our equipment from the home.
"After a lot of consideration and evaluation of the condition of the home and not finding a resolution to safely move the home to the new customers property that was in need of a home, it was decided that it was best just to demo the home.
"As a company we take pride in not only our work, but the safety of our staff as well our customers best interest.
"Going forward, we will continue to study, find, and create more safety precautions so that accidents like this will never ever reoccur.
"As we continue to pray for William’s wife and children, we also ask that the city does the same. For this has been a terrible loss for them first hand.
"New Beginning & Start, LLC”
Action News Jax reporter Meghan Moriarty reached out to the City of Jacksonville and learned Code Enforcement has cited the property owner for nuisance violations—which includes the abandoned mobile home. A witness—who was on the property when the home collapsed—told Moriarty he inspects the property for the owner. He said the mobile home has been there since the late ’70’s.
“I knew his line of work was dangerous,” Melanie Bailey said. “I never expected at all.“
Melanie Bailey said New Beginning and Start has offered to help with as much as it can for her husband’s funeral.
“Unfortunately, there’s no life insurance,” Melanie Bailey said. “Nothing to help with any of the costs.” She’s working to raise money to bury her husband in New York—his home state.
If you’re interested in helping the family, there is a fundraising link here.
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