Monday, November 28, 2022

Out-of-state contractor killed by falling pipe in Topsail Beach during beach dredging project

TOPSAIL BEACH — A man from Castroville, Texas was killed late Monday morning when a pipe being delivered for Topsail Beach’s beach renourishment project fell on top of him.

Roberto Gonzalez Jr., 47, was thought to have died instantly, according to Topsail Beach Police Chief Samuel Gervase. The accident occurred near the beach access at Drum Avenue and Ocean Boulevard on the southern tip of Topsail Beach.

RELATED: Topsail Beach awards $24.6 million contract for dredging and beach nourishment project

Gonzalez was working for a cargo and freight company called JIT Transport out of Laredo, Texas, when the accident occurred, according to Gervase. He said the company is contracted by Weeks Marine, which was awarded a $24.6-million contract last October for a channel dredging and beach nourishment project for the town.

The pipe that fell on Gonzalez was estimated to weigh 3,000 pounds.

He said dispatch received a call at 11:44 a.m. Monday morning and that Topsail Beach Police first arrived on the scene, followed by Pender County EMS and Fire and then Topsail Beach Fire.

The pipes being delivered are being used to pump sand from a dredging operation in Banks Channel across the southern tip of Topsail Island and onto the beach, according to Gervase. He said all materials for the beach renourishment project are typically transported through the beach access at Drum Avenue and Ocean Boulevard.

“It’s a tragic and unfortunate accident and our hearts and prayers go out to the family,” Gervase said.


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