From the Kittitas County Sheriff.
On August 3, 2021 at 2:49 pm, a worker on the project to restore the Beverly Railroad Bridge near Vantage died after falling approximately seventy feet to an island below.
39 year old Gabriel Zelaya was employed by a private contractor working on the new concrete decking of the historic Beverly railroad trestle, which will link portions of the Palouse-to-Cascades trail on either side of the Columbia River. While at work on the project, Mr. Zelaya fell from the bridge to an island in the middle of the Columbia.
Deputies from the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office responded along with Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue. Medics were transported to the island on a boat from the Grant County Public Utility District to recover and treat Mr. Zelaya; but he succumbed to his injuries before he could be airlifted.
Mr. Zelaya’s family in Toppenish was notified of his passing. The Sheriff’s Office and Kittitas County Coroner’s Office are investigating the incident and the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, our state’s lead agency for the protection of workplace safety, will conduct their own review.
Sheriff Clay Myers said, “We offer our deepest sympathies to Mr. Zelaya’s family and thank all the agencies and people who urgently came together to to try to save him after this tragic accident.”