The family of an elevator worker who was killed Tuesday at the Santa Clara construction site for the San Francisco 49ers' new stadium said they are struggling to come to grips with the loss.
"We're just kind of holding on, figuring it out," Cody White, 32, said of the death of his father, Donald White.
"He was a great father, a great friend, wherever he went, you knew he was there because he was just that guy," son Jarvis White said.
State Occupation Safety and Health Administration spokesman Peter Melton told NBC Bay Area that Donald White was standing on a ladder beneath the counter-weight of an elevator when the weight came down and struck him on the east side of the construction site.
Cody White, who is one of four adult sons of Donald White, said his dad told him that the stadium job the safest he had ever worked on in his 43-year career in the elevator trade. His dad jumped at the job because it brought him closer to his sons in the Bay Area and it meant he was working on a stadium of his favorite football team - the 49ers.
Donald White lived in Sacramento, but was staying with his son Jarvis in Redwood City to be closer to his work.
All four of his son's followed in their dad's footsteps and work in construction, so they are familiar with the dangers of the work site. Cody was working on the new Bay Bridge when he got the call about his dad on Tuesday.
They told NBC Bay Area Wednesday if it was a freak accident, they can accept that - but they want to know for sure.
"All accidents are caused by something so it’s just a matter of knowing why he was in position to be struck by the counterweight," Jarvis White said.
"We’re workers, that's what we do. He got up and put his boots on and you know, something happened," Cody White said. "He wouldn't hurt a fly -- he'd give you the shirt off his back."
This is the first death since construction began on the site last April.
Work was halted on Tuesday and Wednesday while investigators from Cal-OSHA surveyed the site. It is scheduled to reopen Thursday.