by Allen Powell II
New Orleans bureau
October 19, 2012
Kenner — Jeffrey Feucht might have been a workaholic, at least that’s what his father-in-law Donald Lemay thinks.
Lemay said that Feucht, 44, was almost never idle. He did electrical work and odd jobs to earn extra money. He was always tinkering with a project around his Kenner home. And, he faithfully went to work every day at the Cargill Grain Elevator in Bridge City where he was an elevator technician. So it’s not surprising that he died on Tuesday afternoon working; after all, that’s what he was always doing.
“He loved to work,” said Lemay, although he said Feucht had only been working at the Cargill site for about three months. “He was always working.”
Feucht died shortly after 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday after being injured while servicing an exterior elevator at the Cargill site at 933 River Road. Another worker, Steven Steel, 25, was moderately injured in the incident.
Col. John Fortunato, a spokesman for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, said the two men were working on the elevator shaft when a cable snapped and the elevator fell several feet, injuring Feucht. The cause of the accident is still undetermined.
Feucht worked at the site but was not an employee of Cargill, said Mark Klein, a spokesman for the company. Klein could not identify Feucht’s actual employer. He said Cargill is disturbed by the accident, which occurred during routine maintenance, and officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating the incident.
“To my understanding it was just routine servicing,” Klein said on Wednesday. “This is something terrible to have at your worksite … Everybody wants to find out how this terrible thing could have happened.”
Lemay said his family doesn’t have many details on what happened either, and they’ve retained an attorney to protect Feucht’s interests. He said his daughter, Melissa, is completely distraught about her husband’s death and struggling to cope. Feucht was the main source of income for his family, and Lemay described him as a “rock.”
“She’s a basket case, naturally,” Lemay said. “Unfortunately when something like this happens you have to get lawyers involved because (my daughter’s) main source of income is gone.”
Feucht was a DJ in his spare time and loved music. He also enjoyed spending time with his two children, and was looking forward to his 14-year-old son’s first wrestling match later this month, Lemay said.
Lemay remembers seeing Feucht on Tuesday morning, and just waving instead of taking time to have a conversation. He said his family will have to trust in God to help them deal with the tragedy.
“What else can you do?” Lemay said.