Man Falls From Roof; In Critical Condition


A construction worker suffered serious head, neck, back and chest injuries Tuesday morning when he fell 27 feet off the roof of the Payson library that's being built at Rumsey Park.

According to Payson Fire Capt. Tom Fife, the fire department received a 9-1-1 call at 10:09 a.m. and responded to the scene where they found the victim, Steve Zolobarenko, lying directly beneath the north peak of the new library roof.

Fire officials said Zolobarenko probably lost consciousness immediately after the fall, but was awake by the time emergency help arrived.

The victim was diagnosed with broken ribs and internal injuries, as well as injuries to his head, back and neck. Fire crews began treating Zolobarenko immediately and inserted a tube into his chest to help him breathe.

Witnesses told Payson Police Chief Gordon Gartner that Zolobarenko, a Valley resident, was rolling out roof adhesive when he fell backward off the roof.

Because some of the crew working with the victim did not speak English, fire and police officials had trouble piecing together exactly what happened.

Payson Police Officer Steve Montgomery is investigating the accident.

Zolobarenko was transported to Payson Regional Medical Center, and was later air lifted to Scottsdale Osborn Hospital. He was in intensive care today (Friday) where he was listed in critical condition.

Zolobarenko is employed by Kovach Inc., a Mesa roofing firm subcontracted by the library's general contractor, Amon Builders of Payson.

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