Concord man killed in roofing accident on Pleasant Street

  • The building at 280 Pleasant St., in Concord is seen Thursday. A man was killed Tuesday after falling from the roof. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 8/30/2018 11:46:48 AM

Kenneth McKenna enjoyed golf, watching sports with his friends and the occasional cookout around the fire pit, a close friend recalled Thursday.

“Ken was the nicest, kindest man who was a friend to many – most go back to high school days – and he was always willing to help anyone in need,” said Julie Lagasse, who attended Concord High School with McKenna. “His home is your home. His heart was bigger than life, and I considered him to be a peaceful, non-confrontational guy who seemed content in his life.”

McKenna, 51, of Concord died Tuesday following a construction accident at a commercial property at 280 Pleasant St., at about 11:32 a.m. Police say he fell approximately 30 feet from a roof and landed on a concrete-like surface below, causing him to suffer critical injuries. He was taken by ambulance the short distance to Concord Hospital, where he later died.

“He was a hard worker and a master at what he did,” Lagasse said. “Ken was very serious and proud about the quality of his work. He didn’t let much keep him from getting the job done.”

McKenna, previously of Epsom, was employed by Craigue & Sons, a contracting company with an office in Concord. He worked for the family-owned company for approximately two decades.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration responded to the scene on Tuesday and opened an investigation to determine whether any violations of workplace safety standards occurred in connection with McKenna’s death, according to an OSHA spokesman. This is the first inspection OSHA has opened into the company’s safety practices.

OSHA requires employers to provide roofers fall protection equipment whenever they work six feet or more above a lower level. The equipment can include personal fall arrest systems, guardrails or ladders.

“Each phase of roof replacement has different challenges, but the risk of falling remains constant,” OSHA warns.

Concord police Lt. Sean Ford said there is no active criminal investigation and that police do not have any more details about the circumstances that led to McKenna’s fatal fall.

The state medical examiner’s office will perform an autopsy to determine the manner and cause of McKenna’s death.

When reached by phone Thursday morning, members of the Craigue family said very little.

“We’re grieving. We’re not comfortable talking about it at this time,” said Becky Craigue, whose brother Nate now operates the family business.

Nate Craigue could not be reached at the company’s Concord office Thursday.

McKenna’s death hits close to home for the Craigue family. Kenny Craigue, the family patriarch and former Concord business owner, fell 35 feet to a wooden floor in September 2001, when he was working on a barn roof that had collapsed from the previous winter’s snowfall.

Kenny Craigue suffered severe head trauma and was unresponsive for three months. Following extensive rehabilitation at Crotched Mountain in Greenfield, he was able to gain some mobility and speech.

McKenna leaves behind an adult daughter, two brothers and his parents.

(Ray Duckler contributed to this report. Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 369-3319, or on Twitter @_ADandrea.)
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