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Construction, orchard workers die in two workplace accidents

Hood River residents were saddened by two work-place deaths in the same week.

On Sept. 6, DeWayne Douglas “Doug” Smith, 33, of Hood River, died while doing construction in Sandy, according to the Oregonian newspaper.

Smith was part of a Stalcup Roofing and Construction crew building a structure on Jadrny Road in Sandy when 13 trusses toppled and landed on the crew. Three other workers were treated for injuries and released from local hospitals, including Joseph Hall, 18, of Hood River, and Roger Canich-Cante and Idel UcChable, both of Estacada.

A service announcement for Doug Smith appears on page A6.

Oregon State Occupational Safety and Health Division is investigating.

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On Sept. 4, orchard worker Gerardo Rodriquez, 52, died while driving a tractor on Webster Orchards property near Redwood Drive in Pine Grove.

According to Pete Hughes of Hood River Sheriff Department, witnesses heard Rodriquez’s tractor make grinding noises at about 12:30 p.m. and then the vehicle went down a steep ravine, landing on Rodriquez.

Wy’east Fire District and Hood River Fire Department personnel responded, and found Rodriquez dead, according to Hughes. It took about two hours to remove Rodriguez’s body from the scene. A tow truck could not access the location because of the terrain, and firefighters used jacks and airbag devices to lift the tractor.

Orchard workers were given the rest of the day off and crisis counseling was provided.

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