A man working on a construction project on the San Diego (405) Freeway in West Los Angeles was killed early Thursday morning when a 3,000-pound steel beam being lifted off a truck fell on him, police said.
The accident happened about 2:30 a.m. at 11250 West Santa Monica Blvd., just east of Sawtelle Boulevard between Beloit Avenue and the southbound side of the San Diego Freeway, according to police and fire officials.
Adolfo Figueroa was killed instantly, said Los Angeles police Sgt. John Juarez.
"Movement of the beams" led one of them to fall on the construction worker, California Highway Patrol (CHP) Public Information Officer Karina Munoz said.
"We still don’t know exactly the details as far as how the beam fell," she said.
City of Los Angeles crisis counselors were dispatched to the site to assist Figueroa's distraught colleagues, including one who, according to a CHP officer at the scene, had tried to lift the beam off Figueroa.
The CHP was handling the death investigation, Juarez said. Cal-OSHA was summoned to the work site to investigate the fatality, which is being investigated as an industrial accident.
Figueroa worked for Kiewit, a company contracted by Caltrans to work on the freeway.
"We were deeply saddened to learn that early this morning one of our employees, Adolfo Figueroa, died while performing work on the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project," Kiewit said in a statement. "We extend our sincerest condolences to Adolfo’s family and friends, and those who knew and worked with him at Kiewit. Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with all of them at this time."
Metro also expressed condolences and noted the accident was "the first serious incident on the I-405 project in nearly three years of work."
Kiewit will conduct its own investigation and work with Cal-OSHA and Metro as the accident is investigated, according to the company's statement.
Work on the freeway project has been halted while the contractor conducts a safety review, according to a Metro statement.