TOPSAIL BEACH, N.C. (WECT) - A man from Texas died in Topsail Beach Monday when a pipe used for beach renourishment fell from a truck.
Topsail Beach Police Chief Samuel Gervase confirms 47-year-old Roberto Gonzalez Jr. died after being struck by the 3,000 pound pipe near South Anderson Blvd. and Drum Avenue at 11:44 a.m.
“This was a tragic unfortunate accident and our hearts and prayers go out to all involved,” said Chief Gervase.
Officials say the accident happened while crews were unloading pipeline for the town’s channel dredging and beach renourishment project, but they have not commented on what caused the pipe to fall from the truck.
“We saw the loader coming back with the pipe and then all of a sudden, the ambulance pulled up and we just said ‘Woah what’s going on?’ so we started looking and then, you know, took the dogs for a walk and we kinda looked around and we noticed that a pipe had fallen off the backside of the trailer,” said Topsail Beach resident James Casey.
“The Town of Topsail Beach, its Board of Commissioners, and the entire staff extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family of the victim,” The Town of Topsail Beach wrote in a Facebook post.
The NCDOL Occupational Safety and Health Division has opened an investigation into the incident. The investigation is expected to take three to four months.