32-year-old Iron Worker killed on the job at Illinois school


Bank fund, GoFundMe account established to help family with expenses

Matthew Smith, a member of Iron Workers Local 392, died Sept. 20 while working at a construction site at Centralia Junior High School.

Marion County Coroner Troy Cannon said Smith, 32, appeared to have been electrocuted while using a welder operated by a gas generator, according to an article in the Belleville News Democrat.

Cannon added that Smith, of Tilden, IL, had been working with a supervisor on the project, and the supervisor had left for a few minutes. When the supervisor returned, he found Smith collapsed. OSHA is investigating the incident.


Local 392 Business Manager John Schmitt said Brother Smith had recently joined the union and was working for Rock Branch Iron Works on the project. He said Brother Smith had at least seven years of welding experience.

Brother Smith is survived by his father, Rodney E. (Cathy) Smith of Tilden, IL; his paternal grandparents, Earl (Grace) Smith of Farmington, MO and Linda Woodside of Coulterville, IL; one sister, Maria Smith (Matthew Pierce) of Coulterville, IL; and two brothers, Zack (Jaycie) Wright of Marissa, IL and Jordan Wright (Abby Knope) of St. Louis, MO.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Annette Smith; his maternal grandparents, Charles “Chuck” and June Vuichard; and his paternal step-grandfather, Wilmer G. Woodside.


A graveside memorial service for close family and friends was held Sept. 28 at Coulterville City Cemetery, Coulterville, IL.

A fund has been established at Regions Bank to help with the family’s expenses. Make donations to Matthew Smith c/o Maria Smith, 114 W. Broadway St., Sparta, IL 62286. To donate online, visit Smith’s GoFundMe account.

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