350 Show Support, Offer Condolences to Workers’ Families
More than 350 students, staff and members of the community gathered Wednesday at UT Dallas to honor two construction workers killed in a July 7 crane collapse on campus.
Student leaders organized the Moment of Reflection as a way for the campus community to express its support and condolences to the families of Terry Weaver, of Grand Saline, and Thomas Fairbrother Jr., of Austin. The men were killed while attempting to dismantle a crane that was used to build the frame of the new Arts and Technology building.
Dr. Thomas Linehan, director of the Arts and Technology program, described the University community’s shock and dismay over the construction workers’ deaths.
“None of us could have imagined when we were breaking ground for this wonderful project a few months ago that we would have a day like today,” Dr. Linehan said. “Our community is filled with sadness at the loss of life on a building project that is designed to fill us all with hope.”
Student Government President Raj Dwivedi led the crowd in a moment of silence. Afterward, attendees lined up to sign condolence books for each of the families.
“UT Dallas has a vibrant student community and spirit,” Dwivedi said. “We celebrate together, and we grieve together.”
Abraham Montoya, a junior majoring in criminology, heard about the campus reflection through students’ Facebook posts.
“We may not have known who these men were, but we appreciate that they worked on the ATEC building and wanted to reach out to their families,” Montoya said. “I felt obliged to come.”
UT Dallas students have also established a benefit and memorial fund for the families of the two men. The University has built a contribution page online.