Saturday, January 31, 2015

A barrier to notifying kin of death

The victim of a fatal industrial accident on Monday in Avondale was not identified by police until today because of difficulties finding the man's relatives.

A barrier to notifying kin of death

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The victim of a fatal industrial accident on Monday in Avondale was not identified by police until today because of difficulties finding the man's next of kin.

Walter Timby, a spokesman for Cardile Brothers Mushrooms, said that when 40-year-old Lucio Valderrabano began working for the fourth-generation, family-owned business in May 2010, his employment documentation, which included an ID and a green card, did not include information about relatives. As a result, his employer did not know immediately that he had family in Mexico.

 "His co-workers were his family," said Timby. He said the hard-working Valderrabano lived and worked on the property, making his death from a freak hay-bale accident particularly devastating for the entire company. Timby said Valderrabano, like many of his colleagues, spoke limited English; however, one associate had information that eventually led to Valderrabano's wife in Balle del Charco. Solidarida Mexico. "The Cardiles are doing whatever they can to assist in getting her a visa" so she can claim the body, Timby said.

For more information on the accident, see http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20120119_Crushed_mushroom_worker_identified.html

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Aubrey Whelan covers Chester County for the Inquirer. A native of a Philadelphia suburb so small it doesn't have a zip code, she grew up reading the Inquirer and was thrilled to take a job there in fall 2012. Previously, she covered crime, courts and D.C.'s Occupy movement for the Washington Examiner. Aubrey graduated from Penn State in 2011, where she worked for the award-winning campus newspaper and majored in journalism and French. Contact her at 215-495-5855 or awhelan@philly.com. You can also follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/aubreyjwhelan.

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