Man falls to his death

Published 12:13 am Tuesday, November 6, 2007

NATCHEZ — A construction worker fell three stories to his death Monday while working at Hampton Inn & Suites on Canal Street.

Witnesses said Chris Skinner, in his 30s, and Aaron Abundiz, 25, were unloading furniture into a third floor window when they fell.

Natchez Police Chief Mike Mullins said the call came in at 2:33 p.m.

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Abundiz’s father Jose Abundiz and Eric Smith were inside the hotel receiving the furniture.

Abundiz said his son and Skinner were standing on a pallet that was resting on the blades of a forklift when they fell.

Carson Thornburg a laborer at the site said he saw the pallet tilt as the men fell off.

Another witness, Rickey Banks, said when Skinner fell he landed on his head.

Banks said, Skinner was not moving or speaking when he hit the ground.

Abundiz’s father and Smith both said they looked outside the widow just after they heard the scaffold crash.

“They were just laying there,” Smith said.

Abundiz said while his son was unconscious for a short time he quickly regained consciousness and appeared to have only a broken leg.

He was taken by ambulance to a local hospital.

The hotel’s general manager Janelle Williams said she was inside the hotel in her office when the accident happened.

Williams said the accident was unfortunate.

The men installing the hotel’s furniture were employed by hnf instillations based in Metairie, La.

The site construction manager Jamie Sturdivant hired the installation crew.

The hotel’s owner Shailesh Voar, of Arkansas, said he was saddened by news of accident.