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Investigators Allege "Serious" Safety Violations After Man's Fatal Fall From Highway 99

By Kelli Saam
Published On: Jan 30 2013 12:57:13 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 03 2013 09:35:45 PM CST
Brad Capps
CHICO, Calif. -

A construction company now faces more than $32,000 in proposed penalties for serious safety violations after the death of a Northstate man working on the Highway 99 widening project in Chico.

The May 15, 2012 accident on Highway 99 in Chico in killed Brad Capps, 37 of Cottonwood.  Capps died after he fell 21 feet from the highway overpass to the street below.    

In their report, investigators with Cal-OSHA noted two "serious" violations and two "general" violations by the sub-contractor Viking Construction.  The company is based in Rancho Cordova, near Sacramento.    

Citations issued by the state include four penalties totaling $32,125 dollars,

The largest penalty is $22,500.  Investigators noted that Capps was not wearing fall protection while working near a leading edge of a 21 foot overpass from which he fell.  The report states Capps fell while installing a gawk screen weighing 70 pounds.

Investigators also found the k-rail only measured 33 inches high, and did not meet the minimum standard, nor was there a fall protection plan in place.

The second largest penalty is for $7,875.  In the citation, investigators noted Viking Construction did not make a survey of the conditions of the site to determine predictable hazards, such as a fall from a bridge, or the extent of safeguards necessary to do the work in a safe manner.

Cal-OSHA said Viking Construction is appealing the citations, which could be overturned.

A Cal-OSHA spokesman said the appeal process will probably take at least a year due to a backlog of cases at the state.

The Capps family has retained attorney Joshua Divine.  Divine said he is still reviewing the facts, and considering possible legal action.

Capps is survived by his wife and four daughters.