Family suing construction company, after woman trips in work zone, dies

MOUNT LEBANON, Pa. — This season is tough especially when you are forced to celebrate the holidays without the ones you love.

“My mom was the glue to our family, really she was the one who kept everyone together. Over the holidays she was the one who initiated everything with the family,” said Craig Coester, whose mom died in Mt. Lebanon.

Coester is having a hard time describing what life is like without his mom, Bonnie.

“It’s been rough not only on her friends, but people at church obviously her family it’s a major change this year,” Coester said.

Coester told Channel 11 it was the end of June when his 87-year-old mom was walking through downtown Mt. Lebanon in front of Il Pizzaiolo when she tripped on an improperly placed construction cone, falling forward and striking her head on the curb. She died a few months later from those injuries.

“It’s continuous construction, I don’t know why they would leave an area open to anything that can happen like that for such a long period of time,” Coester said.

Coester is now suing the construction company and Mt. Lebanon over the “Vibrant Uptown Plan” project.

The lawsuit alleges that there are areas not properly secured like where Bonnie fell. Attorney Matthew Scanlon claims the cones being used were not placed correctly and are not the proper size, according to federal regulations.

“Our biggest issue is there wasn’t transparency, there wasn’t ever a safe walking area specially in the area where bonnie was but also all of route 19 where they are working,” Scanlon said.

Since this accident, both told Channel 11 nothing has changed. Their fear is what happened to their family will happen to someone else, too.

“It is accountability, so this doesn’t happen in the future to anybody and it’s not just this construction company, I want it to be with all the construction companies,” Coester said.

Channel 11 reached out to all three parties named in the lawsuit, including the engineering and construction companies. Mt. Lebanon and Plavchak Construction said no comment.

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