Construction worker suffers medical emergency on scaffolding, dies


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A construction worker died Wednesday after he suffered a medical emergency while up on scaffolding outside a Providence church.

The incident took place around 10:30 a.m. at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church on Orchard Avenue. The man was doing masonry work about 45 feet above the ground when he fainted, according to Deputy Assistant Fire Chief Brian Mahoney.

“We had to set up a rigging system and a tower ladder to extricate him from the top of the staging,” Mahoney said.

The worker was lowered from the scaffolding and transported to Rhode Island Hospital by rescue.

The worker has since been identified as Michael Sam. His company, Stone & Lime, and the church’s rector, Mark Sutherland, both confirmed his death Wednesday afternoon.

“We are deeply shocked and very, very sorry for Mike’s death,” Sutherland said. “In his time he worked with us, he was always a cheerful and happy person.”

A representative of Stone & Lime tells Eyewitness News that Sam was a loveable guy and a valuable employee.

Sam’s sister, Cheryl Roccio, tells Eyewitness News doctors are unsure why her brother died suddenly. She said her family is awaiting an autopsy to determine exactly how he died.

She said her brother had a “heart of gold.”

“He would walk into a room and have the whole room laughing,” Roccio said.

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