STATEMENT: Family of Man Killed at St. Paul Demolition Site
Photo courtesy of the family of Johnny Valek
A Plymouth man has been identified as the worker killed during a partial building collapse at the site of the future St. Paul Saints stadium in downtown St. Paul.
Police on Tuesday afternoon identified Johnny Valek, 61, as the worker killed. Click here to read the full story.
Valek's family released the following statement:
"We want to thank everyone for their thoughts, support and prayers today, as we are forced to say goodbye far too soon to John, a beloved father, brother, relative and friend.
We specifically want to express our deepest gratitude to all of the emergency responders, including the police and firefighters, who have treated us with such kindness and professionalism.
We want to express our deepest sympathies to John’s coworkers, with whom he worked for years. We know he thought of you not only as colleagues, but rather as friends. Please be safe as you continue John’s work.
Like everyone else, we want to know more about the event that stole him from us. However, we believe it is better at this time to focus on honoring his legacy, holding each other up as we anxiously await a clearer picture of what took place.
So for now, we work to remember John for the person that touched all of us.
John was a truly loving father who was preparing for retirement after more than 25 years of deconstruction experience, specializing in building demolition. He was considered an expert in his field and was highly respected by his peers. While he looked forward to retirement, those feelings paled in comparison to the excitement he held for his daughter’s upcoming wedding.
It is that devotion that we will miss most.
While we appreciate that people may want us to speak further about John and our memories of him, we are trying as much as is humanly possible to work our way through our grief. So while there may be a time for that at a much later date, we will let this statement serve as our public comment and expect that it will serve as a means to satisfy inquiries on such a tragic day.
Doing this will best help us honor our beloved father, brother, relative and friend."