Authorities in southwest Iowa have released the names of the three men who fell more than one-thousand feet to their deaths Wednesday while working on a TV tower near the town of Oakland. Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker says the president and owner of the West Des Moines-based Deter Tower Company was among the victims.
Sheriff Danker identifies the dead as: 57-year-old Leo Deters from Norwalk; 27-year old Jason Galles, from Des Moines; and 19-year old Jon McWilliams, from Cumming. Danker says an autopsy is being conducted on the men, as requested by the State Medical Examiner.
The Sheriff says they will meet later today with a representative from OSHA. Danker says he says they’ve photographed the scene, collected all the equipment such as harness, and now will begin the investigative process to find out what happened to cause the accident. He says they will fully investigate what may have transpired to claim the three lives, but there’s already speculation.
Danker says the only thing they can assume at this point was that there some type of equipment failure. The weather was good, there were no other apparent problems, and the men were very experienced at doing the job. The accident occurred at around 2:45 P.M. Wednesday at the Iowa Public TV tower near Oakland.