FOLLOWUP: Trench incident victim identified; fund set up to help family


One day after a worker was killed while working in a trench alongside an Admiral home, the King County Medical Examiner’s office has identified him: 36-year-old Harold Felton. And in response to community members who have asked what they can do to help Mr. Felton’s family, his brother-in-law has announced a GoFundMe page on behalf of wife Jenna and baby daughter Grace. Find it here.

The page says, in part:

With his loss my sister will have to support her daughter and try to do what she can in the face of this unbearable loss. Funeral expenses are always high and she and Harold are modest people, but he was the only source of income for their family. Any expenses over that which covers the funeral will be devoted to helping take care of Jenna and Grace during this trying time.

Mr. Felton was working on what city documents describe as side-sewer repair alongside a house near 36th SW and SW Hanford when dirt suddenly fell into the trench yesterday morning. A huge response of firefighters and rescue equipment converged but was unable to dig their way to Mr. Felton in time.

State Labor and Industries is investigating; we just checked again with spokesperson Elaine Fischer, and she says it will be at least a month before they have anything to say. As we reported yesterday, and as Fischer reiterated today, the company working at the site, Arbor Heights-based Alki Construction, has no record of safety problems. This was the first trench-work death in our state in more than seven years.

14 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Trench incident victim identified; fund set up to help family"

  • Sheila G January 27, 2016 (4:47 pm)

    I just contributed to the Go Fund Me account. This will be a huge challenge going forward for the young widow and infant daughter. I do not know these people but it is a heartbreaking loss and I encourage anyone and everyone who is able to respond with a contribution of any kind. Thank you for considering this.

  • Dan January 27, 2016 (4:54 pm)

    This is so sad.  I have worked with Jenna and Harold in the past and they are both great people.  God bless!

  • MrsShaw January 27, 2016 (5:26 pm)

    I echo the comments of Sheila G. I do not know this family, but my heart goes out to them  as well as the extended co-worker family for their devastating loss. It seemed the least I could do is contribute to  the Go Fund Me account. 

  • Jesse Dean January 27, 2016 (5:54 pm)

    So sorry for your loss. RIP Mr. Felton.

  • Tricia January 27, 2016 (8:45 pm)

    I was so saddened to hear of this tragic loss.  I hope that people in West Seattle will continue to support this young mother in any way they can.  So very sad.

  • Milee Ballweg January 27, 2016 (9:13 pm)

    Harold was such a wonderful person and he was the most selfless person I have ever met. He was a father figure to me growing up and he will be forever missed. I’m so sorry Bruce, Pam, Jenna and to the rest of the family… I’m so sorry for your loss..

  • Cris Ranourt January 27, 2016 (11:05 pm)

    Please visit the Gofundme page to help Jenna and Harold Felton with funeral expensive plus there baby daughter. Thanks in advance.

  • tk January 27, 2016 (11:30 pm)

    Harold was part of the group of friends I would to run around the neighborhood with when I was a teen.  I didn’t stay in contact after high school, but remember Harold as a really good guy with a big heart.  I did hear a story about him escaping death once after being hit by a car while on his BMX bike.  He was hospitalized, from what I was told, for brain swelling and he miraculously survived!   I’m sure his family is stunned after already surviving that brush with death. I know nothing can be said to bring his wife and other survivors any relief from the immense grief and sense of loss they must be feeling.  I just hope the community can come together to help make things just a little bit easier on Harold’s wife and their baby daughter.  May your tears transform into smiles one day when you think of him.   

  • MsKit January 28, 2016 (12:14 pm)

    Because this injury happened on the job, Harold’s wife can/should file a survivor’s claim for benefits with the Department of Labor and Industries.  This can provide a burial benefit and a widow’s pension with dependent child benefits to help the family. There is a one-year time limit for filing this claim. I still recommend visiting the GoFundMe page and supporting the family – the amount of workers’ compensation benefits will not fully restore the financial loss and certainly will do little to nothing to alleviate the non-monetary loss for this family.  However, the workers’ compensation system (which is funded by premiums paid by all employers and all workers in the State) should provide assistance, as well. Keep the feelings around this tragic accident in mind when anyone starts to talk about the reductions in benefits to workers or their families to help balance budgets.  We are lucky to have a good system in place that allows us all to proactively provide protection for those injured at work. Stand together on this one. An injury to one is an injury to all.  Best wishes to Harold’s family through this tough time.

  • Sheila G January 28, 2016 (4:14 pm)

    MSKIT, yes the workers comp benefits can be a great help to survivors. However, in my mother’s case it took months before they kicked in. Short-term financial help provides for immediate needs and really helps the widow and her family by relieving the worry of running out of cash right now when so many aspects of her life are up in the air. I’m thrilled with all who have contributed…again, I do not know these people but I know all too well what they are going through as something similar happened to my family over 30 years ago. God bless all you generous souls in West Seattle and beyond!

  • Jenny Kellogg Broadhead January 29, 2016 (10:20 pm)

    I pass my sincere and deepest condolences to Harold’s parent’s, Bruce and Pam Felton, his sister, Lucy and to you Jenna and baby Grace. I had never met you Jenna, but Harold I did know because my brother-law, Harry is my sister, Judy’s husband. I am sooo sorry that has happened. Harold as you know was such a kind-hearted and loving guy. Why these deaths happen I don’t know, but God does. Jenna, Bruce, Pam, Lucy, Harry, Sue, Judy, baby Grace and all his other family and friends know that Harold didn’t suffer and that he is safe in God’s hands. Jenna and baby Grace, he will always be watching over you and keeping you safe. He will always Love You Both Forever and Ever, until you see him again. At your lowest times, think, remember and hear Harold’s laugh and everything about him and smile. You are all devistated by this as I am too. I will remember his soft eyes, smiling face and laugh. He will be in your and our hearts forever. Again I am so sorry, I just heard about this tonight from my sister Judy. … My sincere heartache for the loss of your Harold. Such a Special man, son, husband and father .. My best and May God Bless you all to help get through this extremely difficult time. I am sorry I am not able to come to Seattle, but Harry and Judy are leaving tonight from Montana. …. God Bless, Jenny Kellogg Broadhead, Auburn, Wyoming….. Jenna if you need another long distance ear, I will always be here for you. ((((HUGS))))

  • Terri Weller January 31, 2016 (4:13 pm)

    I had known Harold Felton since I was like 6 years old, and this loss has affected me greatly, I am still so sad and numb. My heart goes out to Jenna, Baby Grace, Bruce, Pam, and Lucy and the rest of his family. I will never be able to walk around the neighborhood the same way. Whenever I drink coffee, it will always remind me of Herald, seeing as he loved it. 

  • Judy K February 1, 2016 (8:38 am)

    Bruce, Pam, Lucy, Harry, Sue, Chris, Jenna, Grace, all children, family and friends this is a hard day. It breaks my heart that I am not with you all today, but my heart,soul,spirit and deep love are with you all and with Harold. We all love Harold so very much, how could you not. He was the most kind, gentle, loving being. He is a gem that will never go dim in our hearts. We will love him forever. The divine light of pure love walks with all of you today and each day. Blessings and Peace and Love to you all.  Namaste, Judy

  • Darrell Longwell Davis February 1, 2016 (4:41 pm)

    Up in heaven the sun just got much brighter with Harold’s smile. That smile of his was constant and lit up a room. God bless all whom suffers this tragic loss and God blessed Harold who has been called home to dwell amongst the Lord.

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