When nursing student Alyssia Byrd’s college class let out five minutes early, she had no idea it would lead to her car being crushed by a construction lift.
On Friday afternoon, police, firefighters and EMS responded to the Hampton Inn & Suites being built on Turner McCall Boulevard after a lift fell across the road, blocking traffic for nearly two hours and sending one construction worker to the hospital.
According to Rome police Lt. Chris DeHart and Pfc. Mike Simmons, the lift was owned by Premier Platforms and had been rented by Coosa Valley Signs, which had a crew using the device to install a sign on the hotel.
Two employees were near the very top of the building when it fell over onto the road and hit Byrd’s car that was traveling south on Turner McCall, DeHart said. She was not hurt.
One of the men on the platform of the lift, Andrew Voils, was taken to Floyd Medical Center and then airlifted to an unknown location. The initial police report listed Voils’ condition as serious. DeHart said he didn’t know where the man was taken.
“It was absolutely scary when it fell,” said Byrd, who is studying nursing at Georgia Northwestern Technical College.
She said her first instinct was to check and make sure Voils and the other worker was okay.
“I didn’t want to move him (Voils) and risk injuring him further,” said Byrd. “I kept waiting for the adrenaline to wear off to see if I’m really hurting anywhere. It’s not every day two men fall out of the sky and onto your car,” said Byrd.
She was driving home to Powder Springs from her nursing class when the lift fell. She said her professor had let the class out five minutes early.
“If only I had stayed those five minutes. It was the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Byrd.
Coosa Valley Signs was contracted by MC Signs Co. out of Canton, according to the police report.
Representatives from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were contacted Friday, and Simmons said they are expected to be at the scene this morning to investigate.