Worker Killed After Bridge Collapses on 91 Freeway in Riverside

The portion of the eastbound 91 Freeway in Riverside had to be shut down part of the day Sunday after a construction worker was killed when a bridge collapsed.

91FwyBridgeCollapse

One lane was open on a portion of the 91 Freeway in Riverside after a bridge partially collapsed on May 18, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

The incident occurred around 3:15 a.m. at the Pachappa Railroad Overcrossing while a demolition of the bridge was taking place, according to authorities.

A sub-contractor was tethered to the bridge when a support beam began to collapse, causing the victim to fall, Caltrans spokeswoman Terri Kasinga said.

The victim, identified by the Riverside County Coroner’s office as 59-year-old Okesene Faasalele, was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead around 4 a.m.

The incident forced the closure of all eastbound lanes on the freeway from Central Avenue to 14th Street, and two westbound lanes between Seventh Street and Adams Avenue., according to the California Highway Patrol’s incident log.

Two of the eastbound lanes were reopened shortly before 2 p.m., a tweet from Caltrans stated. Westbound lanes were also open again, according to a separate tweet.

An investigation was underway to determine what caused the bridge to collapse.

“There was obviously something that’s supposed to support the bridge, to keep it up when it’s cut,” said Michelle Profant, spokeswoman for Caltrans.

KTLA’s Tim Dechant contributed to this report.