South Side construction accident: Critically injured worker expected to fully recover, one fatality reported

Update (Friday, June 7): 

A construction worker who was in critical condition after falling from a scaffolding while working on a project on the South Side is expected to make a full recovery. 

New Horizon Steel, the company that employs the injured worker, said Friday that he is now in stable condition.

The worker who died, identified as 27-year-old David O'Donnell, of Oak Forest, was employed by another contractor. 

"…We are currently investigating the cause of the incident to ensure something like this never happens again. We are also fully supporting all authorities in their investigations," said New Horizon Steel. 

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said they have opened inspections with these companies following the accident: 

  • Turner Construction, the General Contractor for the construction project
  • High-Tech Stake-Out Inc., employer of the deceased worker
  • New Horizon Steel LLC, employer of the injured worker
  • Adjustable Concrete Construction, the scaffolding erectors

OSHA has six months to complete its inspections, issue citations and propose penalties. 

The investigation is ongoing. 


A construction worker is dead and another is hospitalized after falling from a scaffolding while working on a project on the city's South Side. 

The incident happened at 11:45 a.m. Thursday in the 5600 block of S. Maryland Street, near the University of Chicago. 

Two male workers, one of whom is 27 years old, fell from the scaffolding, according to Chicago police. 

The 27-year-old was taken to the University of Chicago Hospital, where he died from his injuries. He was identified as David O'Donnell, of Oak Forest.

The other worker was also taken to the University of Chicago Hospital and is in critical condition, CPD said. 

Turner Construction Company, who employs the two workers, issued a statement about the accident.

"This is an extremely sad day. Our hearts are broken, and we extend our thoughts and prayers to their family members, friends, and colleagues at this extremely difficult time," the construction company said. "The safety and wellbeing of everyone on our sites is so important to us. We work extremely hard to prevent days like this and we have halted all construction activity." 

Grief counseling services will be available to the workers at the site for several days and weeks.

The investigation into the accident is ongoing. We'll bring more updates as they become available.