Community members remember fallen Henley Bridge workers

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- Dozens of people gathered Tuesday evening to pay tribute to John Womac and Solin Estrada-Jimenez.

More thn 60 people kicked off a march at the corner of Henley St. and W. Hill Ave just after 5 p.m. that ended nearr the Henley Bridge on Volunteer Landing for a candlelight vigil.

It was much more than a memorial for the two men who died while reconstructing the bridge last year. It was about urging public officials and companies, like Britton Bridge, to continue to focus on employee safety.

John Stewart with Jobs of Justice said they want to highlight the importance of safety in all careers, especially construction.

"These two men were husbands and fathers," he said.

Alfredo Pena of Memphis was among the crowd. He said he used to be a construction worker but walked away from the industry because of the risks.

"Workers are only focused on getting their job done so that they can get their paycheck and then support their families," he said. "Well, when you've got a superviser pushing you to get the work done, and you want to get the work done as soon as possible you don't pay attention to safety conditions," he said.

Pena and others hope companies put more time into training employees on safety procedures to avoid any similar tragedies in the future.

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