Sun Valley : Construction Worker Dies in Fall From Cliff

A Sun Valley construction worker plunged to his death Monday morning when his tractor toppled over a local rock quarry cliff into a pool of water more than 150 feet below.

Jose Gomez, 25, of Pico Rivera, was pushing heavy equipment up a steep narrow road when the embankment underneath one of his tractor wheels suddenly crumbled, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.

His tractor then tumbled over an adjoining cliff into an 18-foot-deep pool of water at the bottom of the quarry, officials said.

By the time a rescue crew reached Gomez, who was still underwater, he was dead, officials said.

Lt. Mickey Gallagher, a Fire Department lifeguard whose crew was involved in the rescue attempt, said Gomez had probably died before he hit the water.

"His head must have knocked against the [tractor's] cab pretty hard on the way down," Gallagher said. "He and the tractor were both banged up pretty bad."

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