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2 Richmond men killed in Iowa construction accident

Posted at 4:52 PM, Aug 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-07 18:29:01-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Two men from Richmond died after an apparent construction accident in Pella, Iowa, last weekend.

The two men have been identified as Genis Urgell Rueda, 35, and Nelson Joani Figueroa, 20.

The Associated Press reports the two were a part of a crew installing internet cables for Pella Fiber. KNIA-KRLS reported at 8:40 a.m. on Saturday, August 1, the two men accidentally hit a high voltage electric line.

The city’s mayor, Don DeWaard, addressed the two men’s deaths at an August 4 council meeting where he held a moment of silence and asked for people to prayer for their families.

“My thoughts went to the families of these two gentlemen that lost their lives in the accident,” said DeWaard. “Sometimes we read stories like this and we kind of see a name, we pass over a name. But, when it hits home like this, for me anyway, I started thinking about the families of those that lost their lives and how in an instant lives are changed, permanently changed.”

DeWaard said he had learned what he could about the two men. He said Rueda was born in Mexico, but was raised in Virginia by his grandmother. He said Rueda leaves behind a nine-year-old son.

DeWaard said Figueroa was born in Honduras. He said Figueroa’s father also lived in Virginia, while his mother lived in Honduras.

“I have communicated to these families and expressed, as a community, our heartfelt sympathies,” said DeWaard. “ I really wanted to make sure that we as a community remembered that these guys were not just a name. They were sons, they were fathers, they were nephews, they were grandsons and there's a lot of people that are in deep sorrow and hurting.”

GoFundMe accounts have been set up for both Rueda and Figueroa to help their families pay for funeral expenses.