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Cornelius News

OSHA investigating fatal roofing accident 

June 7. By Dave Yochum. UPDATED. The North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the circumstances around the death Wednesday of a father of four who fell from the roof of a mansion on Paradise Cove in The Peninsula.

Jason Ray Thomas, 41, was employed by Taylor Roofing in Waxhaw.

Cornelius Today has learned that OSHA also has a 2017 complaint, now closed, against Taylor Roofing, on file. It was opened in April 2017 and subsequently closed. Cornelius Today has filed a FOIA request for the documents.

Cornelius Police, meanwhile, notified OSHA immediately after Wednesday’s incident happened, according to OSHA. An investigator was on the scene within minutes. OSHA in Raleigh confirmed a new investigation is under way.

Todd Taylor, the owner of Waxhaw-based Taylor Roofing, could not be reached for comment. The phone number for Taylor Roofing immediately went to voicemail and the mailbox was full.

Sources said that Taylor has had a “very contentious” relationship with the homeowners where Thomas passed away.

Police confirmed that they were called to the Paradise Cove address early that morning, roughly two hours before the fall. NEW: Police released a report nearly 48 hours after the incident with no new details.

MEMORIAL IN HONOR OF JASON RAY THOMAS

The re-roofing of the multimillion-dollar home has been under way for more than two months, neighbors said.

On the day he died, neighbors said Thomas came to the home because of concerns about portions of the half-finished roof that blew off during a storm.

Thomas’ 17-year-old son Jason “Dakota” Thomas was with him atop the roof when the Midland, NC resident fell.

Daughter Kelsey Thomas, 21, said her father “was one of the strongest men” she ever knew.

“He always worked his hardest and told me ‘stay Thomas strong.’ Family was everything to him,” she said.

Thomas leaves two other children, Briana Thomas, 23, and Ryan Eaglen, 26.

The children are responsible for the funeral. A Gofundme page has been started to help pay for the funeral:

https://www.gofundme.com/unexpected-loss-of-a-loving-father

Neighbors and the residents of the home placed candles and flowers where the elder Thomas died.

Cedar shake roofs are inherently dangerous.

Compared to the aggregate  coating of asphalt composition shingle—the most common in our area—cedar shake/cedar shingle roofing is more dangerous to work on, according to Jeff Church of GHC Roofing in Cornelius.

“It is generally recommended that one avoids traversing roof slopes covered by cedar without a really good reason and, if it is necessary, using the right safety equipment is a must,” he said.

Neighbors said they did not see safety equipment in use the day Thomas passed away.

The NC Attorney General’s office has advice on dealing with roofing companies.

Here is OSHA’s Taylor Roofing complaint from 2017:

 

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