Filigonio Bravo Perez, a 29-year-old construction worker, fell from a bridge he was painting into Lake Hickory in Catawba County, North Carolina, and drowned, JDNews.com reports.
Perez, who worked for Astron General Contracting Co., was painting a bridge on N.C. 127 over Lake Hickory, when he fell into the lake. Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid told the news agency that he fell while trying to untangle a line at approximately 2 a.m. Tuesday morning, August 30.
According to a report from WBTV, a Charlotte Observer news partner, Perez’s coworkers said they were using fencing material for the platform along the side of the bridge and were supposed to be wearing flotation vests and safety harnesses. They told the news agency that Perez was wearing a safety harness, but that it wasn’t hooked up to the safety line, and he was not wearing a flotation vest.
According to JDNews.com, Perez did not fall very far, and another worker jumped into the lake to try to rescue him, but couldn’t find him. Sixteen agencies responded to reports of a worker falling into the lake, including the Hickory Fire Department, Charlotte Fire Dive Team, and N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. His body was not found until approximately 3:30 that afternoon. His death was ruled an accident, but an autopsy will be performed to confirm that the death was the result of drowning.