Windsor

'I heard a loud bang': Inquest into 2016 construction worker deaths enters Day 2 with witness testimony

Day 2 of an inquest into the deaths of two Windsor, Ont. workers continued Tuesday, with the five-member jury hearing from witnesses of the two unrelated deaths in 2016. 

Witnesses who were present during the deaths of Brian Izsak and Robert Morneau delivered testimony

Windsor Superior Court of Justice. (Derek Spalding/CBC)

An inquest into the deaths of two Windsor, Ont. workers entered its second day Tuesday, with the five-member jury hearing from witnesses of the two unrelated deaths that occurred in 2016. 

Co-workers of Brian Izsak and Robert Morneau shared their recollections in court, providing insight into the events that may have led to the deaths of both workers. 

Brian Izsak worked on roof for three hours before fall

A box, possibly covering an air conditioning unit, was one of the last things to be removed from the roof of the Dougall Avenue Goodlife Fitness before Brian Izsak fell in 2016, according to witnesses.

Iszak, who died July 26, 2016, had been at work on the roof for about three hours before he fell.

"I turned around and caught the top of his head going through ... through my peripheral," said Casey Jones, one of the other workers on the roof in July 2016 and the individual who called 911 to report Izsek's fall.

According to Jones, boxes like the one they were removing were common on industrial roofs and the holes underneath were typically covered with some kind of decking after the hole was exposed.

Pashk Duhanaj, who was the foreman at the Goodlife Fitness work site, said Izsak didn't need to be present when the box was removed. 

Duhanaj said he was about to cover the hole when Izsak fell through, adding it happened in a "split second."

Crew was largely taking a break when Robert Morneau fell 

Kadeasha Lepine, a machine operator on the morning shift at Ventra Plastics, remembers what she saw on Nov. 3, 2016 when Robert Morneau died after falling through a skylight on the company's roof.

"I was aware there were people on the roof that day," said Lepine, who had chatted with the workers on her lunch break earlier in the day. 

"I heard a loud bang ... I heard somebody yelling 'Call 911.' When I looked up, I could see the broken skylight."

Lepine performed CPR on Morneau while emergency dispatch talked her through what to do on the phone. 

I was aware there were people on the roof that day.- Kadeasha Lepine, Ventra Plastics employee

Most of the crew was taking a break when Morneau fell — that's when Dylan Major saw Morneau trip.

"He was backing up, he fell backwards onto the skylight. He was trying to press himself off it," said Major. "I thought the dome over the skylight was going to hold him."

Major looked away, to get the attention of another crew member. When he looked back, Morneau had fallen. 

Sylvia Laforest was driving at the time when she saw Morneau fall through the roof.

Laforest told the court that she immediately parked her truck and began yelling for someone to call 911.

She and a few other employees made their way to Morneau, and spoke with him as another employee was on the phone with 911.

The inquest will continue on Wednesday, with a representative from Goodlife Fitness and a Ministry of Labour official set to deliver testimony.

With files from Dale Molnar