NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Officials have confirmed a 54-year-old man working at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center died after a hydraulic lift toppled over Wednesday afternoon.
David Swain, Technical Director for the Performing Arts Center, was found unresponsive on the stage next to the basket of a toppled lift around 4:22 p.m., according to North Charleston police. There were no witnesses that saw the lift fall, officers say.
"It hit me like a brick," says close friend Jeff Nickles. "It hit me really hard this morning because it set in that he's really gone."
PAC officials say Swain fell from a height of thirty to forty feet. He was pronounced dead by the Charleston County Coroner's Office.
"It's really a blow to Charleston, to the event world," says Nickles. He was a mentor to many people. I can't say enough good things about him. A lot of people are crushed that he is no longer with us."
No events were taking place at the time of the accident, and no one else was injured.
Officials say Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was notified Wednesday night and is investigating the accident. Officials say OSHA crews were onsite on Thursday.
"We're deeply saddened and shaken by the tragic accident that happened yesterday. David Swain has been a cherished member of our Coliseum family for many years. Our thoughts and prayers go out to David's family, friends and co-workers", said Dave Holscher, North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center General Manager.
An employee of SMG, the company hired to manage operations at the PAC, Swain worked at the Performing Arts Center since it's opening in 1999.
An OSHA investigation generally takes six to eight weeks, according to Lesia Kudelka with the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. SC OSHA will look for any violations that may have in any way contributed to the incident, Kudelka said.