Jonathan Stringer, the 24-year-old Chehalis man who died Jan. 9 when a trench collapsed at the Skookumchuck Wind Project outside of Rainier, was a young father who attempted to save the life of another coworker, according to information on a crowdfunding website aimed at raising money for the family he left behind.
The GoFundMe campaign, created Monday by Evan Stichler and written by Jonathan's mother Kristi Stringer in response to her son's death, states that the young man was attempting to save the life of another worker from the collapsing trench when he was buried and killed.
“He succeeded. It was Jon’s nature — helping others,” reads the post.
According to Stichler’s Facebook page, Stringer was a former contractor of his. Stichler works with Aerotek Recruiting and Staffing, which is one of the businesses currently being investigated by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries following Stringer’s death.
So far, the campaign has raised more than $14,000 of its $20,000 goal. More than 159 donations have been made. Funds go directly to the Stringer family. The page can be found at https://bit.ly/2uapByR.
Stichler also wrote that Stringer was a man of many passions. He enjoyed Mariners baseball and fishing, and his family gave him purpose.
“His greatest happiness was his daughter Remington and fiance, Ashlee Thompson. Their lives made him laugh and strive to be a better man,” Stichler wrote.
According to the crowdfunding website, Stringer was born May 4, 1995, in Everett and attended schools in Tenino, Tumwater and Rochester. He loved baseball.
“He was a fierce competitor until he threw a pitch that blew out his elbow – resulting in a cast and the end of his seasons,” the post reads. “Fishing gave him joy. He delighted in reeling in dinner or just getting fortunate when everyone else was snagging algae. What he liked most about fishing was it gave him time to sort his thoughts.”
The Olympian reported on Thursday that L&I currently has open investigations on three businesses with ties to the project, which is located on the Lewis-Thurston county line. Aerotek Inc., RES-Americas and Southern Power are being investigated.
An L&I spokesperson did not respond to The Chronicle’s request for comment on Thursday.
Since the incident, the project’s website, www.skookwind.com, has been closed off from public access. Representatives from RES-Americas said this week they cannot share any details or updates on the incident or the worker who was also injured during the incident. The incident is also being investigated internally.
A statement was attributed to the company in a story published at rechargenews.com.
“We have commenced a thorough investigation to understand what happened and its cause,” an RES spokesperson said, according to the web site. “We are deeply saddened by the death of the construction worker and extend our condolences to his family and we hope for a speedy recovery of our injured colleague.”
The website also attributed a statement to a Southern Power spokesperson: “Our deepest sympathies go out to everyone and their families who have been impacted by the devastating event.”
The Skookumchuck Wind Farm is a 38-turbine project currently being constructed by RES-Americas and owned by Southern Power. The project was slated to begin producing power for Puget Sound Energy in the first quarter of 2020.
According to a death notice provided to The Chronicle, a celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25, at Funeral Alternatives of Washington in Tumwater.