Decision Expected in Coroner's Inquest Into Death of Windsor Roofer

Final submissions have been made in the coroner's inquest into three separate roofing deaths in the region.

A five-member jury has been listening to the circumstances into the deaths of Michael Maukonen of Windsor, John Janssens of Wallaceburg and William Swan of Inwood.

Maukonen, 19, died on June 28, 2016 — six months after he fell from a roof at a home on Menard St. while disposing shingles in December 2015.

The 73-year-old Janssens died in January 2016 and the 56-year-old Swan passed away in May 2017.

The five-person jury has been hearing from more than a dozen witnesses this week and testimony has wrapped up.

Gideon Bloch is the coroner's council and says witnesses have come from all walks of life.

"They range from medical doctors, we had a representative from the Ministry of Labour, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and workplace safety. We heard from family members, police officers, EMS workers, a whole range of individuals.," says Bloch.

He says covering three deaths in one inquest isn't common.

"This inquest is unique in that there are three separate individuals who tragically died under somewhat similar circumstances," says Bloch. "So the coroner decided to combine these tragedies into one inquest with the focus on falling from heights."

The jury will begin deliberating at 9 a.m. Thursday and are being asked to make recommendations aimed at preventing similar deaths.

That could happen Thursday, or the jury members could ask for more time.

Bloch says while all three deaths were tragic, the goal is to learn from them and make changes.

"Three families have been present throughout the week and while, tragically, we can't bring back their loved ones, we're hoping that something good can perhaps come from these awful incidents and that future tragedies of this type don't occur," he says.

 

With files from Manny Pavia