A worker at the hospital in Grinnell died this morning when he fell off the roof while clearing snow from a helicopter landing pad. Medical Center spokeswoman Denise Lamphier says Randy Criswell was a facilities management worker.
Lamphier says the 42-year-old Criswell was using a lawn tractor with a snow blade attached, to clear snow from the helipad on the one-story roof of the building. Lamphier says administrators don’t have all the details, and, she says, "We may never."
The machine fell, missed a five-foot steel safety net, and landed on the ground about 18 feet below. Criswell suffered major head and chest injuries. Lamphier says his wife, Criswell, also works at the hospital, as a physical therapist.
"We’re a close-knit group of employees," Lamphier said, "and we’re just stunned." The hospital’s reported the incident to OSHA and will keep investigating to try and find the cause of the accident. The victim’s sister also works as a housekeeper at the medical center.
Criswell’s death was the eighth weather-related death linked to the winter storm that hit Iowa. Seven other people died in car accidents.