The Northwest Wireless Association and the rest of the tower industry are mourning the loss of Mike Rongey, a 32-year-old technician, who died in a fall from a cell tower, Jan. 4, in Mount Vernon, Wash.
“Mike was an outstanding person who always reached out to help others when help was needed. He created camaraderie and laughter at the job sites with his coworkers –– his friends. We will miss him dearly. Our prayers are with Mike’s family,” according to an email sent by NWWA.
Rongey was working on a tower at a Mount Vernon fire station when he fell shortly before noon. He was given immediate care by firefighters and medics and was later pronounced dead at Skagit Valley Hospital.
He was employed by W S Consulting and Construction, based in Sammamish, Wash.
Services for Rongey will be held at 4 p.m., Jan. 11, at the Marlatt Funeral Home in Kent, Wash. with a memorial gathering at the Lake Wilderness Lodge in Maple Valley from 6:00 p.m. until midnight.
The memorial fund has been set up at Banner Bank. Checks should be made payable to the Michael Rongey Donation Account. The Account number is 5700135422. You may also mail your donations to the following address:
Mike Rongey care of Jennifer Materie O’Brien
1410 80th ST SW Ste. A
Everett WA 98203
CORRECTION: The death of a construction worker in central Texas was not from a fall from a cell tower as we previously reported, but from a transmission tower.
Jesus Govea, 52, fell 50 feet from the tower when a brace gave way. He was working for a local construction company, Chapman Construction, according to Mills County officials. The incident occurred at around noon.
“Chapman’s wireless group has never experience a fatality and this was the first the company has incurred in more than 10 years and it immediately began assessing how this tragic accident occurred. Based on what the Company has learned, the crew was working on tightening bolts on the tower,” the company said in a press release. “The employee fell as he went to tighten a bolt on a brace. His fellow crew members and company EMS personnel immediately rendered aid, but the employee did not survive his fall.”
Emergency personnel transported Govea to Brownwood Regional Medical Center where he died later from internal injuries. OSHA is investigating the accident.
Tragedy struck in rural Minnesota, June 27, when a 19-year-old tower climber fell 153 feet to his death from a cell site.
The man, identified as Jeremy Jo Froemke of Lisbon, N.D., was wearing a safety harness at the time of the accident, according to the Associated Press. He worked at Midwest Steeplejacks, based in Fargo, N.D.
Officials from the Sheriff’s office in Beltrami County, the Minnesota State Patrol, the Solway Township Volunteer Fire Department and the North Country First Responders responded at 5:50 p.m. and pronounced him dead at the scene.
The tower was located 10 miles west of Bemidji, Minn., near Lammers Township.
Froemke was born in Fargo, N.D., according to an obituary in the Ransom County Gazette, and graduated from high school in 2011, where he was active in football, basketball and choir and worked on the family farm. He was also an avid outdoorsman.
Funeral services were scheduled on July 2 at Anselm Lutheran Church in Lisbon.