Florida contractor’s owner succumbs from a 200-foot fall off a Crown Castle cell tower in North Carolina

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator


A 52-year-old welder and owner of his contracting company passed away after falling approximately 200 feet from this Crown Castle 300-foot tower in Shelby, North Carolina. His death was the first industry fatality in 2024. Photo: Google Earth

A 52-year-old owner of a Kissimmee, Florida, contracting company that specialized in structural reinforcements and welding passed away on Monday when he fell from a Crown Castle tower in Shelby, North Carolina.


Jose Ramiro Covarrubias

Wireless Estimator has identified the deceased as Jose Ramiro Covarrubias. He fell from a 300-foot self-supporting tower around noon.

The circumstances leading to his fall are still under investigation. One individual, who said he was knowledgeable of the incident, was informed that Covarrubias might have been transitioning from a lift to the structure, but this is yet to be confirmed.

The North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Administration (NCOSH) will not comment on their ongoing investigation.

Covarrubias was welding on the Crown Castle structure, one of many of the company’s towers he had worked on over the years, when he fell, reportedly just below the 200-foot level.

A Crown Castle representative was immediately dispatched to the site to assist in the investigation.

Covarrubias began his career with B&C Contracting of Kissimmee in 1998. In late 2020, he founded Covarrubias Contracting LLC.

Two other crew members assisted in the retrofitting project on the tower located off East Dixon Blvd., behind a 10,600 sq. ft. complex, with Verizon as the main tenant.

“I’ve worked with Ramiro for many years, and I’m shocked to hear that he might not have been tied off if that’s the case,” said a former co-worker. “He had been in the industry for decades, and safety was always his top priority, not for show or because a supervisor might be around, but because there was no other way to work. And as a welder, there are always additional safety precautions you have to take.”

Another co-worker described Covarrubias as a devoted family man who dedicated his life to caring for and loving his wife and children, prioritizing their well-being and happiness.

Covarrubias’s passing was the industry’s first fatality in 2024. Over the years, the number of deaths has been considerably lower since Wireless Estimator began tracking fatalities in 2003.

The Tower Family Foundation has reached out to his family to provide assistance.

Jose had a passion for singing and performing. He often became the life of any party with his karaoke skills and infectious sense of humor. He had a unique ability to bring joy and laughter to those around him, always making jokes and lightening the mood.

He is preceded in death by his mother, Audelia Torres Covarrubias. Jose leaves behind a loving family, including his wife Ruth Covarrubias; his father Jose Elias Covarrubias; his sons Mathew Covarrubias (Anallely) and Riley Covarrubias (Jani); his daughter Nancy (Rene) Vilarreal; and his siblings Guadalupe Garcia (Roberto), Manuel Covarrubias (Georgina), Rosa Zamudio (David), Elias Covarrubias (Magdalena), Enrique Covarrubias (Yolanda), Patricia Gomez (Jorge), and Olga Covarrubias (Jose Luis).

Jose also leaves behind 20 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews, all of whom will cherish his memory and impact on their lives.