The two men caught on Friday beneath a garage roof when it collapsed — killing one, from Rhode Island, and seriously injuring another, from West Forks — were probably checking out the garage because it was already unstable and partially caved in, according to the injured man’s wife.
The collapse in Indian Stream Township killed Addison Yeaw, 58, of North Scituate, R.I.
Glen Coulson, 52, of West Forks, remains hospitalized with a broken back.
Brookfield Renewable Energy, which owns the Harris Station dam at Indian Pond, also owns an adjoining campground and a six-house complex on Bun Russell Road, where the roof collapsed under the weight of 4 feet of snow.
Brookfield spokeswoman Julie Smith-Galvin said Tuesday that the garage that collapsed was connected by a breezeway to an unoccupied home in the complex.
Brookfield “didn’t maintain the buildings” at the Bun Russell Road housing complex, according to Effie Coulson, Glen’s wife. The complex housed Brookfield employees but is now mostly vacant and in disrepair, she said.
“There weren’t people living in them,” she said of the buildings. “The garage had caved in, and my husband was probably just trying to fix it.”
Smith-Galvin said in an email Tuesday that the six structures “are all in the process of being inspected before we determine next steps.”
She said the campground is used “primarily during the spring/summer recreational season and it is common for us to perform maintenance just before the first whitewater release scheduled for mid-April.”
Effie Coulson, speaking by phone Tuesday from Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, said her husband was “in pretty bad shape” and probably will be in a body cast for the next three months.
“It’s pretty serious. Hopefully he’ll be OK,” she said.
Glen Coulson is a maintenance worker for Brookfield Renewable Energy Group of Canada. The dam is at the headwaters of the Kennebec River, in northern Somerset County, southwest of Moosehead Lake.
Yeaw’s wife is a seasonal employee of the campground, and the couple rented a house across the street from where the collapse happened, witnesses said.
Coulson said Yeaw and her husband were in a garage at one of the vacant Bun Russell Road houses just after noon Friday examining damage caused by an earlier partial collapse when the roof gave way. Emergency responders found Yeaw trapped under debris. Coulson was also pinned in the collapse.
Smith-Galvin said Monday said in a prepared statement there was about four feet of snow on the roof when it collapsed and that the company was “attempting to understand what happened and why.”
Glen Coulson was taken by ambulance to Harris Station dam after the accident Friday. From there, he was taken by LifeFlight helicopter to Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft. He later was transferred to EMMC in Bangor.
The housing complex was built in the early 1950s for employees of Central Maine Power Co., which operated the dam. The dam now is where whitewater rafting excursions down the Kennebec Gorge originate.
Brookfield staff members, West Forks Fire, Upper Kennebec Ambulance and Maine Warden Kim Bates responded to the accident.
Cpl. Eugene Cole is heading up the investigation into Yeaw’s death, according to Dale Lancaster, chief deputy of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department. The death is not considered workplace-related, Lancaster said.
Lancaster said the investigation continued Tuesday with no additional information to report.