Last updated: February 24, 2020
Excavator operator Kane R. Robert, also known as Sean Benschop; tested positive for the pain killer Percocet and marijuana on the day a Center city, building collapsed. The four-story outer wall of 2136 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA crumbled onto the Salvation Army Thrift Store next door. Six people were killed in the collapse — three employees and three patrons. The wall also buried 13 others who were in different areas throughout the store, including the basement. They were eventually rescued by citizens and first responders.
Prosecutors charged 42-year old-Sean Benschop with six counts of manslaughter after a toxicology test showed he was “unfit to perform safety-sensitive, job-related duties” due to the presence of marijuana in his blood stream. (The test also identified the presence of unspecified painkillers, which may or may not have been prescribed to him and may or may not have affected his ability to safely demolish a building.)
In addition to the consequences of the horrific accident, lead inspector of a Center City building that collapsed is dead after committing suicide. In a suicide message City Inspector Ronald Wagenhoffer stated “It was my fault. I should have looked at those guys working, and I didn’t. When I saw it was too late. I should have parked my truck and went over there but I didn’t. I’m sorry.” On the cell phone video, Wagenhoffer said he couldn’t sleep because six people died and 13 others were injured in the collapse.