Citations handed down in wall collapse

A San Francisco-based construction company plans to appeal $11,550 in citations from the state after an investigation into the fatal collapse of a 24-foot-high wall.

Fergus O’Sullivan of O’Sullivan Construction said he’s retained an attorney and disagrees with all the violations the state said his company made in connection with the wall’s collapse, which killed one person.

“Basically, we’re appealing all the citations,” O’Sullivan said Sunday. O’Sullivan Construction has until Jan. 17 to correct the alleged violations or appeal the five citations handed down Friday by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

On July 31, just before 3 p.m., the eastern wall of the former El Rancho Market on Geneva Avenue fell over onto Rio Verde Street, instantly killing Union City resident Gregoria Custodio, who was sitting inside her car. Custodio had pulled over next to the wall to consult a map after visiting a friend in the area.

Crews were in the process of demolishing the building to build a 15,000-square-foot mixed-use development at 2665 Geneva Ave.

Cal/OSHA’s investigation found that “[t]he employer allowed a section of wall approximately 125 feet long and 24 feet high to stand without lateral bracing sufficient to support the structure,” according to one citation handed down.

Continued inspections of the site to detect hazards were not performed as demolition went on, and O’Sullivan’s qualified inspector for the job site was not present before the collapse, OSHA alleged in another citation.

Other alleged violations include failing to have a qualified person observing demolition work at all times, failure to have a survey of the existing condition of the structure being demolished and failing to have that survey on-site.

Representatives from Cal/OSHA were unavailable for comment Sunday. Officials from that agency have previously said that O’Sullivan had only one previous complaint against it, a 2003 incident that resulted in a $50 fine. The State Contractors Licensing Board said after the wall collapse that O’Sullivan had a clean record.

Daly City officials and the site’s neighbors said at the time that the area was typically windy and was even more so than usual on that day. Use of the sidewalk had been prohibited along the affected stretch of Rio Verde during demolition, but parking was allowed.

Neighbors interviewed at the time of the collapse told The Examiner they felt concerned enough over the potential collapse of the wall that they took precautions and moved their cars away from that side of the street anyway.

dsmith@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Howard Golden places an order with server Dragos Pintlie at John’s Grill as indoor dining resumes on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Food services industry sees significant drop in employment opportunities

San Francisco’s job market has contracted sharply over the past year in… Continue reading

Dr. Vincent Matthews, superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District, on Monday said “We truly wish we could return to in-person learning for everyone.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFUSD reopening plans still leave out most secondary students

SFUSD announces April return to in-person learning after reaching contract deal with teachers

San Francisco Giants catcher Joey Bart (21) swings for a strike against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Oracle Park on August 25, 2020 in San Francisco, California. (Chris Victorio | Special to S.F. Examiner).
Up-and-coming players show glimpses of future greatness at Giants Spring Training

By Nick Zeller-Singh Thousands of baseball players across the nation have one… Continue reading

“Calder-Picasso” juxtaposes sculptures and paintings by 20th century masters Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso at the de Young Museum. (Courtesy Gary Sexton/2021 Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Rights Society, New York)
‘Calder-Picasso’ showcases modern masters side-by-side

Artists explore empty space in representational and abstract works

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted changes to The City's streets including Slow Streets closures to increase open space access and the Shared Spaces program, which allows businesses to use public right-of-ways for dining, retail and services. (Examiner illustration)
COVID is reshaping the streets of San Francisco

Walk down Page Street, which is closed to thru-traffic, and you might… Continue reading

Most Read