The construction company being investigated by the federal government following an accident that killed a Springdale man is paying for the man’s funeral, the company told the family of the man’s fiancée Tuesday.
Brannon Rhine, 20, died Sunday in a construction zone at the Vue Apartments in Fayetteville when he jumped into a hole to fix broken equipment. The hole collapsed around him.
Rhine’s stepdad, who was working on site with him, jumped in to try to save Rhine by uncovering his head and face once the hole collapse on him. Police said he was unresponsive when they arrived and it took them about an hour and a half to extricate him.
Houston-based Parkcrest Builders was supervising the project. The company is under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, commonly known as OSHA, because of the deadly incident.
A representative with Parkcrest Builders had told Rhine’s family their insurance would not cover the man’s funeral. They called the family back Tuesday to say they could, in fact, cover the costs, said Shannon Capehart, the mother of Rhine’s pregnant fiancée, Meagon Capehart.
Rhine’s family set up a memorial fund in his name at Simmons First Bank. Those wanting to give to the memorial fund can do so at any Simmons First Bank. The Brannon Rhine Memorial Fund is under the account name Patsy Turner, Shannon Capehart said.
Family and friends continue to console Meagon Capehart, Rhine’s pregnant fiancée. She’s due in June with baby girl Isabelle.
Meagon said she can’t believe the man who was set to soon call her husband is gone.
“Before he went to sleep he would rub my belly and he said Isabelle daddy loves you,” Meagon said.
Rhine had less than a week on the job. The family doesn’t have the money for the funeral and Meagon’s mom Shannon Capehart said since the construction company didn’t have insurance they won’t help with the cost.
“At this point his body is in Little Rock. They’re doing the autopsy and we have a couple of days to try to figure it out,” Shannon said.
Those who loved and knew Rhine said he had a great sense of humor, he was a loving brother and a dedicated father.
“We all miss him very much,” Shannon said. “It won’t be the same without him.”
Rhine was in drug court, stemming from a drug arrest last year. He also chaired narcotics anonymous meetings in Springdale. The family said he was on the right track.
“He was doing excellent in drug court,” Rhine said. “He had a bright future ahead of him and it was stolen way too fast.”
Meagon and Rhine were supposed to get married this month. Both families are leaning on each other for support during this difficult time.
“We’re trying to think positive but it’s hard,” Meagon said.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death and has six months to complete it.