'He had a lot of goals and a lot of dreams': Family has questions after man killed on north Edmonton construction site

Article content

Loretta Paul was so proud of her great nephew Jeremy Bird’s road to recovery.

After years of battling addiction and trauma, the 32-year-old was turning his life around.

Article content

He was approaching his one-year anniversary of his sobriety in May. Bird was following in many of his family’s footsteps working in construction and was aiming to become an apprentice.

But his life was cut short on Monday when he died in a workplace incident on a construction site on 137 Avenue and Castledowns Road.

Article content

Postmedia reached out to Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Friday and they confirmed an investigation is underway. OHS also confirmed that Bird fell from “a height.”

‘Getting on with his life’

“We are just totally shocked by what has happened. We just can’t believe it,” said Paul in an interview with Postmedia on Friday.

“He had a lot of goals and a lot of dreams. He was really excited about getting on with his life.”

Paul said her family is feeling a wide range of emotions after her nephew’s death, but they don’t want to comment on the investigation further until it’s completed.

“We don’t want to blame anyone because we don’t know all the details, we want to make sure the report is done so we can get that information and have some closure,” said Paul.

“We know they rushed him to the Royal Alex and his mom got there, but it was too late. He was already gone.”

Bird leaves behind three sons and a daughter, and Paul said that their family has had to deal with a lot of heartache and loss in recent years, but the family will fully support his young kids, who just lost their father.

“They have a lot of family and friends who have been here the last few days. It hasn’t quite hit them, but we know it will,” said Paul.

Article content

“They’ve had some cries when they’re by themselves, and that’s OK. We’re watching over them to make sure they’re OK.

‘We’re devastated’

Paul describes her nephew as someone who was determined to turn his life around, despite the obstacles he had to overcome in his life. She said he loved all his family and friends deeply and couldn’t wait to live his new life he was building for himself.

“He went through a lot of growth and healing,” said Paul.

“He went through so much in a young life. He was very determined and strong-willed and he was very loved.

“He told his mom recently that he was free; he was ready to live, and now it’s over. We’re devastated.”

Paul said one of the things that her nephew was most proud of was his sobriety. After battling addiction for several years, he was clean and sober. He was working on his public speaking, because he wanted to share his road to sobriety with others.

“He told his mom, ‘I really want to inspire people, mom.’ Little did he know, he was inspiring people already,” said Paul.

“He wanted to inspire people in recovery and healing. That was one of his goals.”

A 32-year-old man died in a workplace incident on a construction project on 137 Ave at Castledown Road on April 15. The site is fenced and appears to be shut down while OHS investigates on April 19. Shaughn Butts/Postmedia Photo by Shaughn Butts /Shaughn Butts

Recommended from Editorial

Share this article in your social network