I-4 Ultimate worker struck by rebar, killed in Orlando

Victim identified as 56-year-old Michael Tolman

ORLANDO, Fla. – An I-4 Ultimate construction worker has died after a cap cage, a structure made of rebar, fell and struck him in Orlando, officials said.

SGL, the company operating the project on Interstate 4, said Michael Tolman, 56, died after being struck around 9:45 a.m. Thursday at an I-4 west on-ramp at South Street near the Amway Center.

Tolman was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center in critical condition and later died, officials said.

A cap cage is essentially the skeleton of whatever is being built. A steel cage is constructed, wood is placed around it to make a mold and concrete is poured into it.

SGL released a statement about the incident.

[PHOTOS: I-4 Ultimate worker hurt]

"We are deeply saddened to report that Michael Tolman, 56, of the Orlando area, died this morning as a result of an incident that occurred at approximately 10 a.m. (Thursday) on the I-4 Ultimate construction site in Central Florida. Mr. Tolman, who was an ironworker for Shelby Erectors, suffered critical injuries when he was struck by reinforcing steel.

"Our focus right now is on the family and friends of Mr. Tolman, as well as on the investigation of the accident.  

"The cause of the accident is not known at this time. We will conduct an investigation in partnership with local authorities.

"We are supporting individuals and families as they deal with this tragic event. We want to thank the police, fire and local EMS for their rapid response. 

"The incident occurred in the downtown Orlando area. Work across the entire 21-mile jobsite has been temporarily suspended."

The rebar was seen left dangling by a crane at an angle. 

Orlando police taped off the construction site and interviewed witnesses. Some construction crew members were visibly upset after the accident.

A witness said it was windy when crews were trying to move the rebar, but it is unknown whether that played a factor in the incident.

News 6 attempted to contact Tolman’s employer, but has not heard back.

OSHA is investigating. Officials said they are in the preliminary stages of their investigation.

I-4 Ultimate is a $2 billion, at least six-year project that will transform a 21-mile stretch of the highway from Kirkman Road to State Road 434. The project began in 2015.

No other details have been released.

Watch News 6 and stay with ClickOrlando.com for updates.


About the Author:

Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on ClickOrlando.com, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.