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Sad End For Hard Working New Jerseyan

Defocused shot of ambulance on a city street
Monkey Business Images Ltd/ThinkStock
I hate to see a story like this. A 65-year-old steel worker who was said to be an incredibly hard working man, who climbed his way up to become plant manager, died in an industrial accident last week. First, his life. He was Robert J. Donohue, born in Jersey City, spent his 40s and 50s living in Middletown, then more recently lived in Glen Gardner. He was a great family man with a wife, Iris, and two sons Alex and Matthew. His family said he loved talking about his job and that he never wanted to retire. Said that his work kept his mind youthful, agile. In a statement, family said Robert “loved to accomplish the daily organizational goals and managerial tasks placed before him. It gave him great joy at the end of each day that Robert could complete more work than seven men combined.”

Now sadly his death. Last Thursday at Bushwick Metals in South Plainfield, a stack of steel beams somehow fell over, pinning him against the side of a tractor-trailer truck. When I was young I worked in a sand blasting plant, and I remember working with another guy on steel beams. I thought about it as soon as I read this. If memory serves a 20 foot steel I-beam weighs over 400 pounds. A stack of them, you don’t have a chance. I just hope it was very, very quick. I hate seeing a story about a good guy with a hard job meeting a tragic end just trying to take care of his family.

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