Man Dies After Falling from Water Tower in Mount Vernon

By Jill Kasparie, Reporter

MOUNT VERNON, Iowa - A man died Thursday afternoon when he fell from the city's water tower.

Authorities said Winfred Davis, 29, of Clinton, fell to his death Thursday afternoon while he was working on the water tower. The renovation work has been an on-going project this summer.

At 1:54 p.m., however, the daily work stopped and tragedy unfolded.

"He did fall from the top," said Mount Vernon Police Chief Mark Winder.

Catherine and Jim Kennedy live across the street from the water tower. They arrived home just as it happened.

"One of the workers in a hard hat was running through the park like this, and then the next thing I saw was Chief Winder pulling up in his vehicle and grabbing a bag out of the back and saying tell me what happened," Catherine Kennedy said.

A hectic scene at the park soon turned into a somber one. Chief Winder said Davis died of his injuries right there in the park. Workers abandoned their paint buckets and only yellow caution tape remained around the scene.

"I think it's very tragic. He was so young, he was only 29," said Jim Kennedy.

Chief Winder said Davis worked for a company by the name of Arndt Enterprises, Inc. out of DeWitt Iowa. He was hired to help paint the tower. The chief said he doesn't know how or why Davis fell, but he says the 29-year-old was wearing a harness and other equipment.

"It is your worst nightmare. You always hate to have something like that happen," Chief Winder said.

City officials said after months of work, Thursday was one of the final days of the water tower renovation project.

"They were almost wrapping up the project and something horrible like this happened," Catherine Kennedy said.

Chief Winder expects OSHA or Occupational Safety and Health Administration to further investigate what happened on top of the water tower.
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