Man dies 19 months after steel beam fell on portable toilet at Durham work site

North Carolina
Jessie Zimmer 1

A man seriously injured in a workplace accident at a Durham construction site in November, 2017 died this week, according to the man’s brother.

Jessie Zimmer, then 48, was injured Nov. 8, 2017, while working at a construction site in Durham when a steel beam fell five stories, crushing a portable toilet while he was inside it.

“He just got promoted to superintendent,” his brother Jeff Zimmer told WNCN in a 2017 interview. “He was superintendent of the job that he was working on in Durham and he was real excited about that. Just got a new company truck and everything, so he had a lot of things going for him.”

Jeff said his brother was passionate about plumbing and had never been injured on the job before. He had already undergone multiple surgeries between the day he was injured and Dec. 30, 2017, when Jeff Zimmer spoke to WNCN.

“When we first got there they weren’t sure if he was gonna make it or not,” Jeff said. “He had such a bad head trauma that they took part of his skull off to relieve the pressure.”

At the time of our interview, Jessie was out of a coma and had been transferred to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta.

Jessie worked for Acme Plumbing Company, contracted under Barnhill Contracting Company.

Jeff did confirm his brother passed away, but told WNCN he wasn’t ready to do any interviews or release further information about his brother.


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