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Video: Man narrowly avoids death at construction site

Builder 3rd Class William Mathis, from Ragland, Ala., and Builder 2nd Class Anthony DeSalvo, from Savona, N.Y., both assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 1, Detachment Guam, measure purlins on the roof of Tinian Elementary School during Super Typhoon Yutu recovery efforts, in Nov. 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kelsey J. Hockenberger/Released)
June 25, 2024

An Oregon resident’s trip to the corner store almost turned deadly in a major construction incident that occurred earlier this year.

Surveillance video posted on X, formerly Twitter, captured the moment a saw blade broke free from a nearby construction site, barreled across the street, and lodged into the exterior of Quicktrips Neighborhood Market just seconds after Shane Reimche went inside.

“I was walking into the store here, I put my hand on the door and I heard a loud bang and yelling here at the corner. Just as a cloud of smoke pops up and I see a guy fall in the ditch, and four-foot blade hurtling at me,” Reimche said, according to ABC7. “I’m thankful to be here,” he continued, “I was thinking maybe it’s my time, I don’t think I would’ve survived being touched by that thing.”

A cause for the accident was not immediately determined; however, a user error or a loose bolt could have led to the saw coming loose while in operation.

While regulations on construction sites exist to keep pedestrians safe, the nature of the work does increase the chance of injury for bystanders. According to the Wall Street Journal, 155 pedestrians were injured around construction sites between the years 2008-2014 in New York.

READ MORE: Video: Heroic construction workers saved lives before major bridge collapse

The most common causes of injury are slip and fall accidents, followed by accidents that occur when machinery malfunctions or debris leaves the construction site.

In an attempt to reduce bystander accidents, some cities, like New York, have implemented strict codes regulating stronger fences that block passage through larger areas surrounding the construction site. Other measures, such as tenting, reduce the release of potentially harmful chemicals into the air.

While pedestrians can take precautions to reduce their risk around construction sites, the field remains one of the most hazardous careers in the U.S. According to Construction Dive, 1,062 construction professionals died on the job in 2022. The number of fatalities experienced among construction workers has remained steady for the last decade, surpassed only by agriculture and wildlife fields.

The close call has left Reimche and his children shaken. “They saw it on Facebook so they all came to my house and hugged me, and had lots of cries,” he told People, adding that he had problems sleeping the night of the near-miss. “I’m still shaken. It’s 9 o’clock. I’m not going to work today,” Reimche added.