Early last week, as a roofing crew was rolling up its equipment on a reroofing project in Kamas, Utah, one roofer ran back to get something he left behind and subsequently fell more than 30 feet off the three-story townhouse, sustaining critical injuries.
In a story first reported by the Park Record newspaper, the ‘roofer’ was actually a 17-year-old bo with no business being a member of a roofing crew. According to U.S. Department of Labor regulations, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to perform “any work on or about a roof or in close proximity to a roof.”
The incident occurred at a development called Park’s Edge, located about 23 miles west of the affluent resort town of Park City, one of the country’s most posh ski and resort areas. Kamas, in adjacent Wasatch County, is no slouch of a community either, with a median home price of nearly $700,000 and luxury homes topping $17.5 million, according to City-Data.com.
The residence in Park’s Edge, where the incident occurred, is listed as a 3-bed, 3-bath 1,700 square foot townhome valued at more than $833,000, according to records on the real estate reporting site Zillow.
Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Josh Probst told Park Record the adolescent was working for a contractor on the roof of the building, and as his coworkers packed up their things to leave the job site, he “returned to the roof to gather something that he had left.”
The Sheriff’s office, which hadn’t returned a request for comment from Roofing Contractor magazine before this article went to press, told the Park Record it had yet to locate anyone who directly witnessed the teen fall.
A call placed to emergency services from a nearby store reported a man injured on the ground, which is when the teen was found. The Wasatch Fire District joined the Sheriff’s Office at the scene, where the teen was found in "critical condition" and flown to a trauma center via AirMed.
As of October 20, neither the Sheriff’s Office nor Wasatch Fire knew the worker’s current condition. The Park Record reported that an individual working on a roof near the site of the accident said he was "alive and remained in the hospital."
A Wasatch County Building Department clerk told Roofing Contractor reroofs do not require permits for “like” roof replacement, and the department had no record of a permit pulled for the job. The Sheriff’s Office has turned the situation over to the state to investigate.
The Park’s Edge community is managed by Advantage Management and Real Estate Services LLC, a company based in Orem, which confirmed it is responsible for maintaining the townhomes, including roof repair and replacement. A call placed to Advantage Management by Roofing Contractor seeking comment was sent directly to voicemail.