State agency investigating Centerville worker’s high-rise death

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State agency investigating Centerville worker’s high-rise death

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Assisted living facility Bethany Village in Centerville. TREMAYNE HOGUE / STAFF

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is among the agencies investigating the falling death of a man this month in Centerville, this media outlet has learned.

The bureau’s Safety Violations Investigation Unit is probing the death of Mark French, an employee of P&R Communication, who died after falling from a residential tower at Bethany Lutheran Village retirement community.

French, a 30-year veteran of the company, died Oct. 11 after he fell from the tower at 6445 Bethany Lutheran Drive. His death is also under investigation by the Centerville police and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

“They’re trying to determine what occurred and why,” said Melissa Vince, a BWC spokeswoman. She said the bureau is proactively investigating the case in the event a violation of specific safety requirements, or VSSR, is claimed.

A worker, or a worker’s family in the case of a fatality, may be eligible to receive an additional award of compensation if the injury occurred as a result of the employer’s violation of a VSSR, according to the bureau.

A VSSR has not yet been claimed, Vince said. Such a claim may be filed within two years of the injury or death.

The bureau spokeswoman could not say how long the investigation might last.

Katie Ward, P&R’s chief executive, did not provide comment for this story. The downtown Dayton company deals in radio and data communication sales and services.

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