Investigators have identified the bridge worker who fell from the Lewis and Clark Bridge into the Columbia River.
Charles William "Bill" Wiley Jr., 40, of Mississippi, worked for Pennsylvania-based Odyssey-Geronimo JV. He fell from the Longview bridge Sunday morning and is presumed to have drowned.
His body has not yet been recovered.
Deputies said the company has been cooperative and maintained contact with the sheriff's office.
Deputies said Wiley was working on the underside of the bridge when, somehow, he fell into the river. Investigators said it is still not clear how or why the safety equipment he was wearing did not prevent the fall.
Deputies have conducted interviews with workers who were at the site when he fell. They told investigators they were working on a platform under the bridge when one of them looked over and saw his colleague fall from the bridge.
His colleagues described Wiley as someone with bridge work experience who was very conscious about safety.
He was married and his wife has been notified about the situation.
The Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office plans to continue the recovery efforts for the victim while coordinating the investigation into the case with the Department of Labor and Industries.
Anyone with information about the investigation is asked to call deputies at 360-577-3092.
Odyssey-Geronimo JV released the following statement Tuesday:
"It is with sadden hearts and deep sorrow that we report the loss of our co-worker Charles William Wiley Jr., better known by friends and co-workers as Bill, who fell to his death in the Columbia River while working this past Sunday. Bill was an experienced union journeyman bridge painter who has worked with us on the Lewis and Clark Bridge for the past two seasons. He was a very safety conscious and a diligent employee.
The only co-worker who witnessed Bill fall took immediate action and called for help from his nearby crew members to call 911 while he called his supervisor. Site supervisors and other trained co-workers immediately came to Bill's rescue by assisting first responders, calling on nearby boaters and deploying a boat to the scene of the fall in less than four minutes. Even such a quick response could not help Bill as no one saw him return to the surface after the fall. Further search in the dangerous waters by experienced scuba divers was deemed futile in making a recovery.
The investigation is ongoing and we are working with the local authorities and the Department of Labor and Industries. At this time, the facts are that Bill was wearing his safety equipment at the time of the incident and there is no evidence of any equipment failure.
We would like to express our appreciation to the local emergency responders for their swift response to our calls for help and their continued recovery efforts. We would also like to thank the local community for their expressed support.
Bill was a loving husband and father from Mississippi and a well-liked co-worker who will be missed. We have made arrangements for his wife to fly to Washington. Our hearts go out to his family and we will do all we can to ease the pain of their loss. May God give rest to Bill's gentle soul and strength to his family to deal with their loss.
We will postpone further comments during the investigations out of respect to Bill's family."
Ccopyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Sunday, May 19 2013 10:04 AM EDT2013-05-19 14:04:50 GMT
Richmond County dispatch received a call around 7:20 a.m. that the Millbrook Apartment building was on fire located off of Skinner Mill Road. Firefighters were on the scene until around 8:30 a.m. No injuriesMore >>
Richmond County dispatch received a call around 7:20 a.m. that the Millbrook Apartment building was on fire located off of Skinner Mill Road.
Sunday, May 19 2013 9:38 AM EDT2013-05-19 13:38:04 GMT
Richmond County Dispatch confirms there has been a stabbing at a Family Dollar. Deputies say it happened on the 2900 block of Dean's Bridge Road around 7:18 tonight. Information is limited at this tiMore >>
Richmond County Sheriff's Office deputies confirmed a stabbing at the Family Dollar on Dean's Bridge Rd. around 7:15 this evening.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 11:38 PM EDT2013-05-19 03:38:46 GMT
Aiken County deputies say they searched with New Ellenton police officers for two armed men who shot dogs on Sizemore Avenue on Saturday night. Aiken County deputies say they started searching for the suspectsMore >>
Aiken County deputies say they searched with New Ellenton police officers for two armed men who shot dogs on Sizemore Avenue on Saturday night.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:32 PM EDT2013-05-19 02:32:22 GMT
One person has been transported to the hospital after being shot at Axis Barbershop in Beech Island. Aiken County dispatch said it happened around 2:30 p.m. Saturday. There are at least two suspects,More >>
One person has been transported to the hospital after being shot at Axis Barbershop in Beech Island.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:23 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:23:19 GMT
A fundraiser was held Saturday in honor of Wesley Spires. Local firefighters held a boot drive to honor their fellow volunteer firefighter who remains in critical condition after he was beaten by whatMore >>
A fundraiser was held Saturday in honor of Wesley Spires. Local firefighters held a boot drive to honor their fellow volunteer firefighter who remains in critical condition after he was beaten by what investigators said was a bat along the Augusta Riverwalk on May 3rd.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:05 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:05:19 GMT
Instead of spending the day at the computer, some Augustans spent their day learning about it. People gathered at the Imperial Theater for Web Afternoon. Mayor Deke Copenhaver gave remarks about Augusta'sMore >>
People gathered at the Imperial Theater for Web Afternoon. Mayor Deke Copenhaver gave remarks about Augusta's growth in the technology sector.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 5:55 PM EDT2013-05-18 21:55:44 GMT
Michael Robert Bradford, an employee of DynCorp International, has been killed in Afghanistan.Bradford was a Grovetown resident, according to information from a DynCorp spokesperson.The spokesperson toldMore >>
Michael Robert Bradford, an employee of DynCorp International, has been killed in Afghanistan.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 2:47 PM EDT2013-05-18 18:47:31 GMT
Georgia Power crews are working to fix power lines at William Few Parkway and Knob Hill that were struck from a car crash around 9 a.m. Saturday. Columbia County dispatch said two cars were involved withMore >>
Georgia Power crews are working to fix power lines at William Few Parkway and Knob Hill that were struck from a car crash around 9 a.m. Saturday.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 2:40 PM EDT2013-05-18 18:40:22 GMT
Richmond County Sheriff's Office released the following information in regards to Deputy Creech: Sheriff Roundtree and the family of Deputy Alton Daniel Creech would like to thank everyone within our community forMore >>
Funeral services will be held at First Baptist Church of Augusta, 3500 Walton Way Extension, Augusta, Georgia on Tuesday morning, May 21, 2013 at 11am. Deputy Creech will lie in state for one hour prior to the service.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 11:31 PM EDT2013-05-18 03:31:56 GMT
Hundreds of people sang through their grief Friday night as they mourned the death of Richmond County deputy Alton Creech. Two of Creech's close friends, who go by Solo and Ruff, say they've been unableMore >>
Hundreds of people sang through their grief Friday night as they mourned the death of Richmond County deputy Alton Creech.More >>