Man trapped under mobile home he was trying to move dies

Neighbor says frame snapped weeks ago when crews first tried to move structure

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 36-year-old man died Tuesday after a jacked-up mobile home that he was helping move collapsed onto him, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Just after 2 p.m., the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department used high-pressure airbags to lift the structure and free the man from under the mobile home on Plummer Grant Road, off Old St. Augustine Road. The victim was given CPR until he could be taken to Orange Park Medical Center. At 5:30 p.m., a homicide detective said the man, later identified as William Bailey, died of his injuries.

Firefighters said the man was working for a company that was moving the mobile home. According to JFRD, the company had the home jacked up and it shifted as the crew tried to move it. Firefighters said the structure then fell on top of the man when he went underneath to check on equipment.

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office homicide detectives were told that Bailey was under the home, which was resting on cinder blocks, trying to remove the rear axle when the mobile home collapsed on hit.

Gavin Copper said he had just arrived home from school when he saw first responders trying to rescue the man.

“It was kind of scary," he said.

Copper’s father, Tom, added: "What a tragic thing for a high school kid to see this right next door to your house.”

Tom Copper told News4Jax the home was vacant and crews started trying to move it about a month ago. About three weeks ago, the frame snapped and the moving company -- New Beginning & Start LLC -- had just returned over the weekend to began working on it again.

The co-owner of the moving company told JSO the structure was in the process of being declared unsafe.

“It was so sad. I had gotten to know the guys. They had been here for a month, on and off, and they were all super nice guys, real hardworking," Tom Copper said.

Sheriff’s Office homicide detectives are investigating the man’s death and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration may also investigate.

Man dies after being trapped while trying to move this mobile home
Man dies after being trapped while trying to move this mobile home (Sky4 image)

The following statement was released on behalf of New Beginning & Start:

"This has been a terrible lost of not only a great contractor but also a great friend.

"We wanted to address the comments as well as the concerns of the home and inform that we were not in attempt to move the home, but in the process of removing our equipment from the home.

"After a lot of consideration and evaluation of the condition of the home and not finding a resolution to safely move the home to the new customers property that was in need of a home, it was decided that it was best just to demo the home.

"As a company we take pride in not only our work, but the safety of our staff as well our customers best interest.

"Going forward, we will continue to study, find, and create more safety precautions so that accidents like this will never ever reoccur.

“As we continue to pray for William’s wife and children, we also ask that the city does the same. For this has been a terrible loss for them first hand.”

About the Authors: