Identity of Man Killed in Tower Collapse Confirmed

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(6:55 p.m.) CORRECTION: Webster County Sheriff’s Office has provided a correction of the victims’ name.

FORDLAND, Mo– Webster County Sheriff confirms Stephen LaMay, 56, of Washington was killed while working on the tower that collapsed. 

LaMay, along with a six member team was working on the tower when the accident happened just before 10 a.m. killing LaMay.

It was near the points of State Highway FF near Saddleclub Road. That’s just north of Highway 60.  
    
The tower provides the signal for Ozarks Public Television.  Work was being done on it when it collapsed.

“We see a lot of different stuff every day, this is probably one of the most significant events I’ve been to in 25 years of service.”

LaMay and five others were working on Missouri State University’s nearly two-thousand foot tall television tower. Director Andrea Mostyn explains what work was being done on the tower before its collapse. 

“We were conducting some tower enforcement modifications to comply with some FCC changes to channels,” Mostyn explains. 

The six contracted crew members were 105 feet in the air replacing cross beams when it fell down. The cause of the accident is still unknown.

“I imagine they’ll have to get some structural engineers on the scene to look at that,” Mostyn says.

Five crew members suffered minor injuries with three of them being transported to area hospitals. Assistant Fire Chief Rob Talburt for the Logan-Rogersville Fire District describes their reaction when crews arrived to the scene. 

“We’ll call this catastrophic call it what it is, you know people are going to be very shook up and when you’re working that high in the air and something goes wrong, you’re going to have a lot of emotions. We were told, they’re in a state of shock when crews first encountered them,” Talburt says. 

Federal, state, and private agencies will be doing the investigation. 

For now, Missouri State University is providing support to the injured workers. 

Work is being done to regain the signal for Ozarks Public Television. MSU also has the radio station KSMU, but it is broadcast from a different location.    

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