The man who died after a portion of Bonner Bridge collapsed Wednesday was identified as a 42-year-old Manns Harbor man.
Jose Armando Maqueda Mejia died in the accident “doing the work he loved,” according to an obituary on the Twiford Funeral Home website.
Crews began dismantling the 58-year-old bridge after the Basnight Bridge opened in 2019 spanning Oregon Inlet. Mejia was a welder working on one of the last sections that stood 110 feet above the water surface when it collapsed.
PCL Civil Constructors, Inc., is the contractor for the project.
Mejia moved to the United States from Mexico when he was 18 before settling in Manns Harbor in 1999, the obituary said.
The husband and father of four had worked on bridges for 22 years.
Mejia “was always working, whether on a bridge, welding something for someone, fixing a car or building something,” according to the obituary.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the accident and is expected to release further details later.
Mejia’s death is the second death on an Outer Banks bridge in the past year. A 42-year-old man died last August while working on a new bridge in Rodanthe, about 15 miles south of Oregon Inlet. The project contractor is Flatiron Construction, Inc.
Jeff Hampton, 757-446-2090, firstname.lastname@example.org