Operating Engineers Local 513 crane operator Justin Jokerst killed in construction accident in Edwardsville

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JUSTIN D. JOKERST, 31, of Perryville, MO, a member of Operating Engineers Local 513, was killed in a construction accident Jan. 12 in Edwardsville, IL.
JUSTIN D. JOKERST, 31, of Perryville, MO, a member of Operating Engineers Local 513, was killed in a construction accident Jan. 12 in Edwardsville, IL.

 

‘They are heroes, and they deserve more’

By TIM ROWDEN

Editor

Edwardsville, IL – Justin D. Jokerst, an expectant father and member of Operating Engineers Local 513, was killed Jan. 12 in an accident involving a crane at a construction site where workers are building a 500,000-square-foot addition to a commercial warehouse on Lakeview Corporate Drive.

Authorities said Jokerst, 31, of Perryville, MO, was working on a large Grove HL150T crane at a building site at 3951 Lakeview Corporate Drive when he was crushed by the weight of the crane's boom. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.

Brother Jokerst was working for signatory contractor Taylor Crane.

Brother Jokerst and his wife, Kaci, were expecting twins in June.

Memorials can be made to Justin Jokerst Beneficiary Account, c/o Regions Bank, 320 North Main, Perryville, MO 63755 or Jokerst Family Benefit Account, c/o MRV Bank, 871 St. Genevieve Dr., St. Genevieve, Mo 63670

A GoFundMe account for the family has also been set up for online donations at www.gofundme.com/k4nf94.

DIED SUPPORTING HIS FAMILY

While the facts and circumstances of the accident remain under investigation, Local 513 President and Business Manager Pat Kammer said, the one certain thing is that Brother Jokerst’s death was a tragedy.

“A man works all his life to provide for his family and to get to the day he can retire and enjoy his golden years,” Kammer said in a written statement.

“Justin went to work just like he did every day but, that day he didn’t come home. This tragedy will leave a void in many peoples’ lives and many others will search for the answers to prevent future tragedies.

DANGEROUS BUSINESS

Op Eng Local 513“We work in a dangerous business,” Kammer said. Unlike other businesses, when one of us dies in the line of duty, we are not called a hero, we are called a victim, and one victim is one too many.

“Victims of industrial (construction) accidents are rarely remembered publicly,” Kammer said. “There are no flags at half-staff, no black arm bands, and rarely even a marker dedicated to their existence.

“These victims lose their lives doing the same thing we do, working to provide for their families. To me, they are heroes, and they deserve more from us, those who worked beside them.”

Kammer urged union brothers and sisters of all crafts to be careful and work safely, for the hero/victims, themselves, and their families, friends and co-workers.

SURVIVORS

In addition to his wife, Kaci, Brother Jokerst is survived by a daughter, River Jokerst, and step-son, Boston Tarrillion, both of Perryville, MO; his parents, Daniel and Gaylene Jokerst, of Ste. Genevieve, MO; sister, Alysheia Fischer, of Zell, MO; brother and sister-in-law, Wade and Heather Jokerst, of Ste. Genevieve, mother-in-law, Lora Roth, and father-in- law, Keith Schremp, both of Perryville; grandparents Victor and Helen Jokerst, and grandmother Roscella Naeger, all of Ste. Genevieve.
Visitation will be at Basler Funeral Home, Ste. Genevieve, MO on Thursday, January 15, 2015 from 4:00 PM till 8:00 PM

A funeral service was held Friday, Jan. 16, at St. Vincent De Paul Church in Perryville, followed by internment at St. Rose of Lima cemetery in Silver Lake, MO.

Online condolences can be left at www.baslerfuneralhome.com.

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