As OSHA investigates contractor’s death, family doesn’t blame employer

SE Mass
As OSHA investigates contractor's death, family doesn't blame employer

SOMERSET, Mass. (WPRI) — Scott Simons and his son Troy were inseparable. They worked for the same company, loved riding their motorcycles together and spent a lot of time with their friends and family.

“They were best friends,” Scott’s wife, Mary Lou Simons, said Tuesday. “It was a father-son relationship, but it was beyond that.”

In June, Troy was taken from them, killed in a crash on Brayton Avenue in Fall River. The couple spent the next few months not just mourning the loss of their son, but also looking for answers about the deadly crash.

“Justice needed to be served to the driver, and it wasn’t,” Mary Lou’s sister, Carol Ann Silvia Tavares, said while clutching her sister’s hand.

“His life was taken too soon, and we were fighting for justice every day,” Tavares added. “[Scott] just kept feeling like the justice system has failed us.”

Tragedy struck the family a second time on Monday as Scott fell to his death while working on the roof of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.

Mary Lou described the past year as “a nightmare that hasn’t ended.”

“My life is destroyed. My best friend is gone,” she said. “He was my rock. We were grieving together for our son for the past seven months.”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administraton (OSHA) and Providence officials are investigating whether any workplace violations were involved in Scott’s death. His family, however, says no blame should be placed on his employer of more than 30 years, New Bedford-based Diversified Roofing Systems Inc.

“It was just an accident, unfortunately,” Mary Lou Simons said Tuesday. “Scott knows the rules of the trade, he knows stuff like this can happen, and unfortunately, it was just an accident.”

“I can’t blame them, I’m sorry. I can’t,” she added. “Accidents happen.”

While the events leading up to Simons’ 40-foot fall are unclear, Eyewitness News has learned this isn’t the first time Diversified Roofing has been investigated. Records show that last October, the company faced penalties from OSHA for safety violations.

Eyewitness News reached out to Diversified Roofing for comment but our calls have not yet been returned.

To honor Scott, Mary Lou and her sister said they won’t stop fighting for justice for Troy, and while the two deaths were devastating, they said there was some comfort knowing the two of them are together again.

“I believe [Troy] was actually at the bottom with his father, catching his father,” the two sisters said of Monday’s incident.

“I know he’s with our son,” Mary Lou said, “so there is a part of me that does have peace.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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