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A 54-year-old man working at the North Charleston died while working at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center after a hydraulic lift toppled over on February 11.

David Swain, Technical Director for the Performing Arts Center was found unresponsive at 4:22 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon. He was on the stage next to the toppled lift. According to authorities in North Charleston, there were no witnesses to the fall.

Official representatives of the Performing Arts Center say that Swain fell from a height of approximately forty feet. The Charleston County Coroner’s Office pronounced him dead on the scene.

Jeff Nickles, a close friend of Swain’s, said “It’s really a blow to Charleston, to the event world. He was a mentor to many people.”

At the time of the accident, there were no events taking place and no one else was injured.

The Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was notified on the evening of the incident. Officials say OSHA is investigating the accident and had crews at the Performing Arts Center on Thursday.

Swain was an employee of PMG, the company hired to manage operations at the Performing Arts Center since it opened in 1999.

“We’re deeply saddened and shaken by the tragic accident…Our thoughts and prayers go out to David’s family, friends and co-workers,” said Dave Holscher, North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center Manager.

The OSHA investigation will likely take six to eight weeks, according to spokesperson Lesia Kudelka with South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. During the investigation, South Carolina’s OSHA team will look for any violation that may have contributed to the accident.

For more information and updates, please see the Live5 News article.

About the Author

Scott E. Kegel is a Personal Injury Attorney in Charleston, South Carolina with over 18 years of legal experience. Mr. Kegel prides himself in representing injured parties in suits against those responsible, as well as staying active in the community that he has called home for over 15 years.