Steve Lemay, 56, of Washington state, the owner of Steve Lemay LLC, has been identified by authorities as the erector who died yesterday morning when an 1,892-foot TV tower in Webster County, Mo. collapsed while his crew was performing structural upgrades in order for Ozarks Public Television KOZK to comply with their FCC repack requirement to move from channel 23 to 16.
The tower is owned by Missouri State University.
“We are shocked and saddened by the news,” said Suzanne Shaw, vice president for marketing and communications at the University. “Our condolences go out to the victims and their families. We are also providing support and resources to the other team members affected.”
Lemay, according to the company’s web site, had over 25 years of industry experience.
The well-respected iron worker incorporated his Blaine, Wash. company in 2014, according to Washington state records, and appeared to have no OSHA violations.
According to University documents, Tower Consultants, Inc. (TCI) of Columbia, S.C., with a branch office in Seattle, Wash., was managing the repack retrofitting project.
A company spokesperson informed Wireless Estimator yesterday that they had no comments.
Jean-Alain Lecordier, who previously served as Kline Towers’ Vice President of Engineering, did not return a call for comment. Lecordier and Greg Kelish, formerly with SpectraSite Broadcast Group and Stainless Towers, co-founded TCI in 2005.
TCI has been a key player in providing broadcasters engineering services to ensure that their towers can support the additional loads that might occur as new equipment is installed as part of the repack process.
An OSHA inspector was on site yesterday afternoon.
Lemay’s death was the third industry fatality this month.
Wireless Estimator will provide additional details as they become available.