The death of a building inspector who fell down an elevator shaft in a Palo Alto home in December 2011 is under investigation, the Weekly has learned.
Gary Collins, 43, a resident of San Ramon, was critically injured Dec. 6 after he fell down an elevator shaft at a home under construction near Waverley Street and Lowell Avenue, according to officials of several agencies.
Collins, an employee of 4Leaf, Inc., a Pleasanton construction-management and engineering corporation, was inspecting construction at the home when the accident occurred, City of Palo Alto Chief Building Official Larry Perlin confirmed.
"He tumbled down an elevator shaft and landed on his head. Paramedics responded and took him to Stanford Hospital. He was in a coma for several days and passed away," Perlin said.
The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner's Office said he died Dec. 19, and confirmed Collin's name, city of residence and age.
Patricia Ortiz, spokeswoman for the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) said that an investigation is ongoing.
Kevin Duggan, president of 4Leaf, Inc., said the contractor was not present at the accident.
Collins fell from the first floor into the shaft, which was in an underground pit, he said.
He said he is saddened by Collins's death.
"My heart goes out to the family. I feel very bad for him," he said. Duggan said that Collins had a wife and two children.
The company has worked on projects such as the Amtrak light-rail extension in Sacramento, the BART station in West Dublin and the light-rail project for San Francisco MUNI.