Interchange Construction Worker Suffers Fatal Fall

Interchange Construction Worker Suffers Fatal Fall

Oscar Magdano, who identified himself as the brother of a worker who suffered a fatal fall at Phase V of the interstate interchange highway project, ran through the I-495 construction site on the outer loop side, looking for the foreman.

"It's my brother. They called me," he said.

An accident earlier that afternoon left his brother, Jose Portillo, dead from a fall on the other side of the highway near the Robinson terminal. Portillo was an employee of Lane Construction and was working on Phase V of the massive interchange project.

Jerry Brown, Lane site manager, acknowledged the fatal accident but would provide few details except it was a fall. He said the matter was under investigation.

"Everything has to go through VDOT [Virginia Department of Transportation]," Brown said.

According to Fairfax County police, a 38-year-old Vienna-area man was fatally injured in a construction accident that occurred at 7201 Wimsatt Road in the Springfield area, shortly after 2 p.m., Thursday, May 23. Paredes J. Portillo was standing on a scaffolding while unloading materials and lost his balance after being struck by some of the materials. Portillo was wearing a safety harness but it was not secured, and he fell approximately two stories. Portillo was announced dead at the scene due to multiple injuries. The Virginia Department of Labor in Richmond is investigating the accident, according to Jeannette Coleman.

Accompanying Magdano over to the accident site was David Mendez, friend and fellow worker. Mendez talked about the conditions at the whole highway interchange site.

"It's dangerous every time. We always put our safety belt on," Mendez said.