Foster Park, CA Bridge Scaffolding Collapses, Jan 1969


An Oxnard construction worker was killed and a second man injured Friday when a wooden bridge scaffolding collapsed near Foster Park, sheriff's deputies said.
IVAN THOMPSON, 42, of 4710 Hamilton Ave., an employe of the McCutcheon Construction Co., Ontario, was pronounced dead on arrival at General Hospital in Ventura.
McCUTCHEON, foreman, ROBERT GUNN, of 87 W. Flint St., Ventura, is listed in satisfactory condition at the hospital.
Deputy Coroner Larry O'Donnell said the accident occurred about 12:50 p.m., while THOMPSON, GUNN and a third worker, ROBERT McKEAN, 4367 Sweet Briar, East Ventura, were walking on top of the scaffolding, which is part of the Ojai Freeway project now under construction.
One unidentified worker said he had heard "cracking sounds" coming from the bridge earlier and was trying to find the cause when it collapsed. "It started cracking again and I got down and yelled that it was falling," he said.
McKEAN told deputies he heard a "rumbling" noise and that the wooden beams started swaying. McKEAN barely escaped by running towards the south end of the bridge, deputies said. However, the other two men ran in the opposite direction.
Deputies said the north section of the scaffolding collapsed first, plunging the men 40 feet below onto the asphalt of Canada Larga Road, amid tons of wooden beams.
Fellow construction workers delved into the rubble but deputies said THOMPSON was beyond any help.
The cause of the collapse is still under investigation. Deputies said there was no connection with the collapse of a new concrete bridge near Thousand Oaks in December.
Funeral services for THOMPSON are pending at the Payton Mortuary in Oxnard.

Press Courier Oxnard California 1969-01-11