Man killed after mobile home collapses on him in Mandarin

Worker crushed under mobile home

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Update 1/14/2020 5:31 p.m.: The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said a man who was trapped under a collapsed mobile home died at the hospital Tuesday.

The man was part of a crew moving the mobile home from the property.

Police said they believe the death was accidental and there was no foul play involved.

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Gavin Copper, who lives on Plummer Grant Road, said a double wide mobile home has been sitting empty next door to his family’s home for the last year and a half. In the last month, a moving company by the name of “New Beginning and Start” has been trying to transport it.

Gavin Cooper was coming home from school Tuesday when he saw dozens of JFRD fire crews surrounding the mobile home. He sent us these photos of JFRD crews working to rescue and treat the victim.

Action News Jax later found out that New Beginning and Start was planning to move this unit to another part of town, when they realized something was not right. The small moving crew went to shift some of their equipment when the home collapsed on top of a worker, according to JFRD.

“They put him on a stretcher and carried him to the ambulance.“ Gavin Copper said. “Not in good condition.”

Captain Eric Prosswimmer with JFRD said it took about 30 men and women to rescue this man. A few hours, later, he died at the hospital.

Tom Copper, Gavin’s father, said the moving company had been trying to move the mobile unit for a month with no luck.

“About three weeks ago, we were out here working, and we heard a big snap.” Tom Copper said. “All these guys were yelling and cursing, and they left because the frame broke.“

Copper said he was surprised they continued to try to move it. He said the mobile home did not look very sturdy.

“It’s just been in such bad shape.” Tom Copper said. “I mean you can look at the walls, everything about this“

A few other neighbors echoed similar concerns.

Action News Jax reporter Meghan Moriarty looked into New Beginning and Start, LLC. The company got its start in 2016. It is listed as a Florida not for profit corporation. Its license is active. Moriarty did not see any violations or complaints. Moriarty spoke through messages with the CEO of New Beginning and Star. He explained that he wants to speak with the man’s family before making any statements.

OSHA and JSO are investigating the incident. They believe it was accidental.

Update 1/15/2020 3:20 p.m.:

New Beginning and Start statement:

"I am speaking on behalf of New Beginning & Start, Inc.

"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 will never ever reoccur.

“At this time, 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."

-Jordan, Owner

Original story: The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department said crews worked to free a trapped man under a collapsed mobile home on Plummer Grant Road in Mandarin Tuesday.

JFRD said one man was completely underneath the mobile home when it collapsed while a moving company was jacking up the structure to put it on wheels.

Air bags were used to lift the structure enough to extract the man. JFRD said the initial dispatch to the location took 22 minutes, and it took an additional 15 minutes to get the man out from under the collapsed home.

A neighbor told Action News Jax reporter Meghan Moriarty that no one has lived in the mobile home for the past year and a half.

Action News Jax is working to bring you the latest on this developing story. Check back for updates and follow @ActionNewsJax on Twitter.