Worker dies in accident on Hilton Head

July 27, 2011 

A 60-year-old worker died Tuesday morning after falling through the ceiling at Hilton Head Health, according to the Beaufort County Coroner's Office.

Juan Arriaga of Savannah was working on the heating and air conditioning system in the ceiling of the weight-loss center on Valencia Road at about 9:30 a.m., when he tripped and fell through a hole, falling about 12 feet, Deputy Coroner David Ott said.

Arriaga was transported by ambulance to Hilton Head Hospital where he was pronounced dead, Ott said.

An autopsy was performed Wednesday at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

Arriaga worked for Gochnauer Heating & Air, Ott said. An employee there declined to comment Wednesday.

The S.C. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating, according to Lesia Kudelka, communications director for the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

"Our investigations generally take about six weeks to complete," Kudelka said in an email. "S.C. OSHA will be looking for any OSHA violations that may have in any way contributed to the incident."

Staff writers Patrick Donohue and Allison Stice contributed.

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