Iowa Agency Finds Deaths of 3 Men in Building Collapse Were Accidental

Iowa Agency Finds Deaths of 3 Men in Building Collapse Were Accidental
An apartment building that partially collapsed two days earlier, in Davenport, Iowa, on May 30, 2023. (Erin Hooley/AP Photo)

DAVENPORT, Iowa—Iowa’s health agency has determined that the deaths of three men crushed in the collapse of a downtown Davenport building were accidental.

The finding released Monday by the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services declared the deaths of 42-year-old Branden Colvin Sr., 51-year-old Ryan Hitchcock, and 60-year-old Daniel Prien as accidental. All had suffered multiple crush injuries and “mechanical asphyxiation,” a term used to indicate that an object or body position prevented a person from breathing.

The partial collapse of the century-old, six-story brick building on May 28 near Davenport’s riverside also injured several people and displaced dozens of people. An investigation is being conducted to determine the cause of the deadly collapse.

Questions remain about why residents were allowed to stay in the building, despite many warnings that the building was unstable. Those warnings were issued by structural engineers, masons, city inspectors, and tenants over several months, according to city documents.

Several lawsuits have been filed accusing the city and building owner Andrew Wold, among others, of neglecting residents’ safety.

Mr. Wold pleaded guilty in June to a civil infraction asserting that he didn’t maintain safe conditions at the building, for which he faced $395 in fines and court fees.

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