Zachary Pumper, 34 of Savage, died Aug. 19 after sustaining fatal injuries while working on a construction site in Minneapolis, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner said earlier this month.
Pumper is survived by his wife, Nicole Pumper, and two children, ages 7 and 4.
Nicole Pumper said her husband always went above and beyond for his family and others. She recalled the hours he spent on the phone trying to secure new constructions jobs for friends who found themselves out of work.
“He was very devoted,” she said. “He loved to do whatever he could for whoever he could.”
Pumper was struck by an earth-moving loader construction vehicle while working on a project at the East Side Storage and Maintenance facility, according to Ayme Zemke, a spokesperson with Adolfson & Peterson Construction, which employed Pumper.
The company is serving as the general contractor for the project, which is being completed on behalf of the city of Minneapolis Public Works Department.
The company is providing counselors and support to the employee’s family and colleagues and is fully cooperating with an Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation into the incident, Zemke said.
“We are deeply saddened by this terrible tragedy,” Jeff Hansen, the company’s CEO, said in a statement. “The safety of our hard-working men and women is Adolfsen & Peterson’s highest priority. We are devastated to lose a well-respected member of our team. Our most sincere condolences are with the family and the loved ones of this employee.”
Nine days before the accident, Pumper returned home to Savage after completing a job in South Dakota he’d been working on since January. His wife said he made the drive home every weekend, leaving South Dakota Friday evening and returning Sunday evening after their kids went to bed. He loved being a father, she said, and said he couldn’t be away from his family.
“Zac was a gentle, caring man who had a huge heart and a smile that could light up any room,” Lisa Sitzmann, a friend of the family, wrote on a GoFundPage created to support the family. “He was an amazing husband, father and friend to many.”
One week since the accident, the fundraiser had collected nearly $30,000 in donations.
“He’s very deeply loved and very deeply missed,” Pumper said.
OSHA will determine if standards were violated at the time of the accident, said James Honerman with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.
Honerman could not comment on specifics of the incident because of the open investigation but said investigators will observe safety and health conditions and practices, consult with employees privately and review employee training records to help determine the cause of the accident.
Minnesota OSHA Compliance has inspected Adolfson & Peterson Construction worksites 10 times since 2014 but recorded no violations, according to U.S. Department of Labor records.