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Second worker dies at San Francisco 49ers stadium construction site

Photo: Mathew Sumner/AP

A delivery truck driver was crushed early Monday by a bundle of rebar being unloaded from his truck.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- Construction is slated to restart Tuesday at the new $1.2 billion San Francisco 49ers showcase stadium after police and fire investigators determined a truck driver's death was a workplace accident and not a crime.

The delivery truck driver was crushed early Monday by a bundle of rebar being unloaded from his truck, officials at the scene said. It's the second worker death at the construction project.

An ambulance rushed the severely injured worker to a local hospital, where he died, according to a spokesman for Turner/Devcon, the construction company building the stadium.

"We are deeply saddened to confirm that the driver has passed away as a result of his injuries," spokesman Jonathan Harvey said.

Harvey said state workplace safety officials told them Monday that while their investigation is ongoing and could take months, "the jobsite has been deemed safe and is permitted to reopen."

The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office identified the man as Edward Erving Lake II, 60, of Vacaville. He was an employee of Gerdau Ameristeel's Napa Reinforcing Steel facility, a subcontractor working on Levi Stadium, Gerdau's spokeswoman Kimberly M. Selph said.

In a statement, the 49ers said their "sincerest thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and co-workers affected by this tragedy." The team also said there were plans to have support on-site Tuesday to help workers with their emotions following the tragedy.

The stadium is in Santa Clara, about 40 miles south of Candlestick Park, which it is replacing. Construction is slated to be finished in July, and crews have been working in high gear to meet that deadline. Officials say the accelerated work plan involves a highly coordinated scheme to maximize efficiency and avoid delays.

Construction firm investigators also were on-scene Monday, to see what could have been done to prevent what is now the second deadly accident at the site.

An elevator mechanic, 63-year-old Donald White, was killed at the stadium in June when he was struck by a counterweight while working in a shaft.

White worked as an elevator mechanic for more than 40 years and was employed by Schindler Elevator Corp. An investigation into his death by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is underway.

The stadium project is expected to open its doors just in time to host the 50th Super Bowl, in 2016, in the heart of the Silicon Valley. The airy, open stadium would have the largest lower bowl in the league, ensuring the 68,500 fans are close to the action.

The construction costs are being paid by $800 million in seat and luxury box sales, along with a 20-year, $220 million naming rights agreement with Levi Strauss and Co. announced in May.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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