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Construction Worker Falls To His Death At Sawmill

A construction worker died Thursday morning at the Boise Cascade sawmill here when he fell about 20 feet onto a concrete slab.

Police said Ralph S. Zema, 39, suffered a massive head wound and other injuries and was dead when emergency crews arrived about 9:30.

Zema lived in Kettle Falls, where he was employed by Fosback Construction. He and a co-worker were replacing the floor in a second-story workroom at the sawmill.

Zema was tossing large sheets of plywood and tile over a wooden safety rail of an open porch near the workroom when his body crashed through the rail. Boise Cascade Regional Manager Richard Just speculated that one of the plywood sheets may have caught on Zema’s glove.

The state Department of Labor and Industries is investigating.

Danekas Funeral Chapel in Colville, Wash., is in charge of funeral arrangements.

, DataTimes