Newton County

Family identifies construction worker killed in bridge collapse in Newton County

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. — The family of a worker killed when a bridge collapsed said they want answers on how it happened.

The bridge collapse happened as a crew was cutting concrete on one section to dismantle the bridge, but suddenly something went terribly wrong.

“We saw a lot of trucks on the bridge yesterday, and I thought, ‘That’s a lot of weight on that bird,’ and all of a sudden, boom!” witness Mary Fish said.

“I heard a big boom, and I went out there and I looked and saw the whole thing fall down -- trucks and everything,” witness William Coleman said.

Three injured workers were pulled from the water. Demario Battle, 30 of Atlanta, died. His family said a truck that toppled from the bridge fell on top of him.

“Demario and his coworkers were doing their jobs, and they had all these trucks on the bridge, and it all went down,” Battle’s cousin Kiwii Ashmeade told Channel 2′s Tom Regan.


Ashmeade said Battle recently took a job with the concrete cutting company and was working hard to support his family.

“It just tears me up because he has children. He was trying to do right,” Ashmeade said.

She told Regan that she and Battle’s family want to know what went wrong, and for whoever is responsible to be held accountable.

“To be negligent on so many levels, just so many levels it’s ridiculous,” Ashmeade said.

Those who witnessed the terrible collapse said they are saddened for the worker’s family.

“To me, how precious life is and to lose it like that, taking care of his family, it’s just awful,” Coleman said.

The company that Battle worked for told Regan that the company is deeply saddened by the loss of its employee and others who suffered injuries.

Representatives also said they are fully cooperating in the investigation into the cause of the collapse.

The bridge that gave way was in the process of being taken down and replaced. It’s the scene of a federal OSHA investigation.