Abilene roofer's family mourns his death, talks prevention


ABILENE, Texas - The family of a roofer who fell to his death while working at Abilene ISD's Jefferson Center spoke out about the tragic accident and asked if his death was preventable.

Ismael Mendoza, 56, was no rookie construction worker. He had worked with Lydick-Hooks Roofing for 29 years, according to the company. While working on one of many school projects, he fell from the roof around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Mendoza's daughter, Angelina, says her husband witnessed the accident. She said Mendoza's son-in-law was the foreman on the project. He told her that her father was close to the ledge and suddenly fell.

"He just all of a sudden heard a lot of kids screaming, and next thing you know my dad was on the floor and the nurses from the school just rushed out and just started doing CPR on him," Mendoza said.

Ismael succumbed to his injuries hours later at the hospital.

While Mendoza was wearing a hard-hat, his family says that the men did not use harnesses at their jobsite. His daughter says they are questioning if the company should have provided them and required employees to wear them.

"If a death is preventable, we should have done it in the very beginning. It shouldn't take a life for people to start realizing we need to have rules, we need to do this, we need to do that," Angelina said.

Lydick-Hooks did not feel it was appropriate to comment on the roofer's death due to a pending investigation by OSHA. However, the company did say there are other alternative safety measures taken than making employees wear a harness.