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DEADLY ACCIDENT: Worker, 24, killed in drainage pipe incident, Port St. Lucie police say

Austin Falcon-Rodriguez was pushed out of underground pipe, through road grate on Southwest Becker Road
Port St. Lucie police respond to a deadly industrial accident on Southwest Becker Road between Southwest Village Parkway and Range Line Road on July 8, 2024.jpg
Posted at 12:20 PM, Jul 08, 2024

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — A 24-year-old man is dead following an industrial accident in Port St. Lucie on Monday, police said.

The Port St. Lucie Police Department said emergency crews responded to the area of Southwest Becker Road between Southwest Village Parkway and Range Line Road at approximately 11 a.m.

Police said Austin Falcon-Rodriguez, 24, of Port St. Lucie, was performing maintenance in an underground drainage pipe when he was "suddenly pushed out of the pipe from below ground, through the opened roadway grate, and came to rest on the roadway."

He was working underground on a stretch of Becker Road that has yet to open to the public.

Falcon-Rodriguez was pronounced dead at the scene.

"We’re unsure exactly what occurred underground but there was some sort of issue that pushed the gentleman from underground through the open drainage grate that’s on the roadway," said Sgt. Dominick Mesiti of the Port St. Lucie Police Department.

The man’s body was found in the middle of the road by first responders. Police say the victim’s father was also working on the same job site today.

“We don’t know if it was water pressure or air pressure or a combination of both," said Mesiti.

Detectives are now looking into what type of maintenance was being done and what kind of tools were being used.

“It is a death investigation," said Mesiti. "Our Criminal Investigations Division is out here conducting that investigation. Doesn’t mean a crime has occurred. Right now, we’re investigating it as an accidental death."