BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN
Rescue responders from Minnedosa arrive on scene of an accident were a man was killed by a slab of concrete on an acreage east of Rapid City, Man., on Tuesday afternoon.
RAPID CITY — Police and Workplace Safety and Health continue to investigate a fatal workplace accident in which a man was crushed and trapped by a large chunk of concrete.
Friends and acquaintances have identified the deceased as 33-year-old Leon Houle of Rapid City, a married father of three young children.
"He was just a really good fellow — down to earth, hard working," said Queen’s Hotel owner Jim Christie who knew Houle and was his neighbour.
Spruce Plains RCMP were called to an acreage in the RM of Saskatchewan, three to four kilometres east of Rapid City, at 2:50 p.m. on Tuesday.
The precise details of what happened aren’t available and there are two slightly different official versions.
RCMP report that Houle and another worker were repairing a cistern in the basement of a home when a cement wall gave way, trapping Houle underneath a large block of concrete.
According to a provincial spokesman who spoke on behalf of Workplace Safety and Health, a large concrete slab broke and fell on Houle during demolition of a cement cistern in the basement of the home.
The Rapid City fire department was called in and was assisted by the Minnedosa fire department.
Minnedosa fire chief Dallas Brykaliuk said firefighters inserted a plastic or rubber "air bag" underneath the concrete. The air bag was then inflated to lift the concrete off of the trapped man.
Houle, however, was pronounced dead at the scene.
His family wasn’t immediately available for comment on Wednesday, but friends and acquaintances described him as a "good man" and "good family man."
Residents said Houle grew up in Rapid City where he lived with his wife and three young children, and was a partner in a construction company.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 26, 2012