CHUBBUCK — Authorities have released the name of the man who died following a building collapse near Chubbuck on Tuesday afternoon.
They say Peato Peato “Benjamin” Galo, 44, of Pocatello, died as a result of blunt force trauma.
Another man who was injured in the incident, Houston Briscoe, 19, was listed in critical but stable condition on Thursday, according to officials at Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello, where he is being treated.
Galo and Briscoe were working for Briscoe Builders, the Pocatello company constructing the building, when the incident occurred, according to Bannock County sheriff’s officials. Authorities have not specified Houston Briscoe’s relationship to the company’s owners.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office are still investigating the incident and trying to determine exactly what happened.
Galo and Briscoe were working on the building located northwest of the intersection of Highway 91 and Tyhee Road when the structure collapsed and the roof fell on them. Although 13 other workers were there at the time, none of them required hospitalization.
Two of the building’s walls collapsed during the incident and another was on the verge of collapsing, authorities said Tuesday. The building was being considered a total loss at that time.
Part of the building was going to house the newly formed North Bannock County Fire Department’s fire station. It’s unclear what the rest of the building was going to be used for.
North Bannock County residents overwhelmingly voted in favor of providing $500,000 in annual funding via increased property taxes to the newly formed fire department earlier this month.
North Bannock County Fire Department officials issued a statement early Tuesday evening acknowledging “the tragedy” and stating that their “first concern is for the workers and their families.”
They also said they are looking into other fire station options because of the building’s collapse.
In the meantime, local police and firefighters are rallying around Galo’s family.
The Pocatello firefighters union and the Pocatello police union are planning to give a combined $1,000 to Galo’s family to help them during this difficult time. Both have members who knew the man they say has five children.
Andy Moldenhauer, president of the firefighter’s union, said some of their members responded to the tragic incident and helped treat and transport both men to the hospital. And they wanted to do something to help Galo’s family.
“It seemed like a good cause,” Moldenhauer said. “He died building the building that was going to house the fire station north of us.”
Galo was always willing to help others in the community with projects they were working on, said Akilah Lacey, vice president of the police union, adding that now it’s their turn to return the favor.
Lacey has personally coached two of Galo’s sons in high school football.
“It’s heartbreaking — any time someone loses a loved one,” Lacey said, adding that they want to let Galo’s family know that they are not alone at this difficult time and the community wants to help them. “We’re trying to do that as a union.”