Community reacts to tragic construction accident

Local

One man is dead and another is seriously injured after a construction accident in Holton Wednesday afternoon.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s office said 66-year-old John Zibell was pronounced dead at Holton Community Hospital.

The other man injured in the accident was taken to the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Brian Thompson was getting tools out of his garage when he heard the crash. 

“I thought it was a car crash and i didn’t go look,” said Thompson. “It wasn’t until a neighbor had told me what had happened that I found out.”

First responders from five agencies rushed to the aid of the two men.

A forklift holding the two men had overturned while they were doing some work on a three story house, causing them to fall from about 30 feet in the air.

Candelaria Alcantar said Zibell was a family friend.

“I was shocked,” said Alcantar. “I was really shocked because it was just unbelievable. He was a good guy and you wouldn’t expect something like that to happen to someone like that.”

While the community may be small, their hearts are big and their support for one another runs deep, especially during tragedies like this.

“Even on much smaller issues, you can expect to see people coming and seeing if they can help,” said Thompson.

It’s unclear what caused the forklift to tip over. The incident is still under investigation.

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