When Frankie Rivera-Rivera was pronounced dead by the Washington (KS) County Coroner at the base of a tower on May 9, the process of grieving started for his family and friends. Shortly afterward, the process of supplying aid to his family also began through the work of the Tower Family Foundation, the charitable organization formed to provide assistance to family members of a severely injured, permanently disabled, or deceased tower worker injured or killed on the job.
The 33-year old native of Puerto Rico fell from a 350-foot tower located a few miles outside of Wichita. Rivera-Rivera was with a crew working on an AT&T install on a tower owned by Harmoni Towers. A few weeks later, his loved ones gathered for his memorial service in Puerto Rico.
In a brief statement issued this week on the accident, the Washington County Sheriff’s Department said that all of the safety equipment, which includes ropes, harnesses and helmet was sent to OSHA for analysis. “No foul play is indicated, indicating the accident was equipment related,” the report stated. A report from OSHA is still pending.
The Tower Family Foundation, a 501c-3 nonprofit founded in 2013, is also on the job to provide a funding “bridge” to the affected families to help pay for immediate needs and help defray other related costs. Jim Tracy, CEO of The Legacy Companies, serves as its President of the Board of Directors.
“The Tower Family Foundation is incredibly grateful for the generous support provided by TFF donors,” Tracy told Inside Towers. “They make it possible for our all volunteer effort to assist families when they are most vulnerable. We continue to be serious stewards, getting 97 percent of all funds directly to affected workers and their families.”
Rivera-Rivera, who had been climbing for two and a half years, is the first fatality recorded in the industry in 2023. He is survived by his wife and two young daughters. To donate to the Foundation, click here.
By Jim Fryer, Inside Towers Managing Editor