Sad news to report. I originally blogged about this on Friday but deleted the post. However, in honor of those involved in the Nacimiento Water Project, I’d like to take a moment and say a hope for safe passage to the two men who died Thursday night on the project.

Thursday night, I was home curled up knitting and feeling down because I was sick with a chest cold. Around 10 pm, I got a call and suddenly, my current state was a non-issue.

Two men were swept inside of the recently installed pipe when the excavator up trench broke a water main. The pipe filled with water and these two men died. One man in the trench at the time escaped. My company had an archaeologist and a Native American monitor onsite as the crews worked along an urban portion of the project. Our archaeologist called 911 and he and the NA monitor remained onsite until the men were recovered.

My company has been very responsive to our staff through this difficult time and I am deeply touched by their efforts to reach out to the field staff. We forget how dangerous construction can be.

It’s been several years since I was on the ground working alongside the men who build these pipelines. I miss them, their earnestness, their work ethic. I miss interacting with them as I once did. As PM for this project’s environmental team, I often find myself working through the details of compliance in relation to constructability, schedule, etc. Today, I am reminded of the efforts that these men (and some women) put forth every day; I am humbled.

Teichert Construction issued the following statement on Friday:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased workers. The workers are identified as 24 year old Jacob Gaines of Bakersfield, CA and 38 year old Manuel Villagomez of Elk Grove, CA. Both men were employed by Teichert Construction. The deaths of Jacob and Manual are a huge loss to the Teichert family of employees. Our focus right now is tending to the needs of the families and co-workers of the two men who lost their lives.”


My warmest thoughts of sympathy to the families and safe passage to the two men who died.