Local worker killed on project in Montana
BOZEMAN, Mont. ” Friends and family of a longtime Roaring Fork Valley resident are mourning his death in a construction accident Monday near Bozeman, Mont.
William “Bill” Van Alstyne was killed when he fell from a ladder while working on a custom home outside of Logan. Van Alstyne, 43, was on the field crew with Myers and Co. Architectural Metals of Basalt. He was working on a chimney cap at the time.
“They were so close to being finished, it’s unbelievable,” said company owner Bob Myers. A crew of three began work there in October and had only a few hours remaining before completing the project. Myers and Co. was a subcontractor on the job.
“We don’t know for sure what happened,” Myers said. “The only thing we know for certain is that he fell off a ladder.”
Van Alstyne struck his head and died at the scene. Myers said witnesses reported that Van Alstyne wasn’t flailing his arms or screaming as he fell, raising questions about whether he experienced a medical issue prior to the fall. An autopsy was performed, but Myers wasn’t aware yet of the results.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has an inspector at the site investigating the accident, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
Myers said news of the accident was a shock to the roughly 100 employees at the Basalt business. The company hasn’t experienced a fatality in 35 years of business.
A celebration of Bill’s life is being arranged and will be held in the Roaring Fork Valley, according to Carla Van Alstyne, his former wife, of Blue Lake. She said Bill will be remembered for “his sense of humor and love of the outdoors. He liked to hunt, fish and golf.”
Their 14-year-old daughter, Alex, “meant a lot to him,” Carla said.
Van Alstyne lived in the Roaring Fork Valley for 22 years. He initially lived in Snowmass Village for 10 years and worked in property management in the upper valley. He then worked in a fly-fishing store in Basalt and joined Myers and Co. two years ago. He lived in the El Jebel area. He is a native of Cullom, Ill., and will be buried there Jan. 15.
In lieu of flowers, people can make contributions to a fund established for Alex Van Alstyne at Vectra Bank in Aspen.
Van Alstyne’s other survivors include his mother, Margaret Ann Van Alstyne of Cullom, Ill.; his brother, Mike, of Fort Collins; and sisters Jackie Goscha, of Rifle, and Mary Jo McBride of Odessa, Texas.
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