The 44-year-old from Manchester, New Hampshire, fell out of the bucket of a lift truck and landed on a barge that was 40 to 50 feet below, according to the Essex County District Attorney’s Office. He was working on an I-495 bridge over the Merrimack River at the time.
Robertson was pronounced dead at the scene, and an unidentified 46-year-old man was also seriously inured.
The two were working on a $110 million project to replace the bridge. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation issued a statement saying it would cooperate fully with the investigation.
Police have ruled out foul play, the DA’s office said, and investigators were working to determine whether the accident was caused by mechanical or operator error.
Robertson was a father of four and an employee of SPS New England, WCVB reported.
His brother, Jim Robertson, told WBZ that Dennis had been looking forward to spending the long weekend with his family.
He also told WCVB that his brother was experienced in safety procedures.
“As a person who used to work construction, I worked side by side with him in our younger years,” Jim said. “I’ve been in the field. I’ve seen how things are, and I know this can always happen.”
The union representing both workers vowed to make sure the incident is fully investigated.
“There are no words to express the magnitude of this tragedy,” Laborers Local 175 wrote in a statement. “Every worker has a right to a safe workplace. Local 175 is committed to ensuring that authorities conduct a full and thorough investigation into this incident, and will do everything possible to make certain that the families are fully supported especially throughout this holiday season.”
Jim told WBZ that his family is trying to celebrate his brother’s life.
“This is our worst day, but as a Christian who is in heaven eternally with God, this is his best day,” he said. “We are going to celebrate that.”
Dennis Robertson, 44, died in a construction accident along 495 #Haverhill. His brother says he was loved by a lot of people & he was on a good path. He leaves behind 4 kids (2 adult, 2 very young). #wbz pic.twitter.com/AIGVcLtkKp
— Katie Brace (@KatieBraceWBZ) November 28, 2019