3 Arrested on Suspicion on Involuntary Manslaughter in Death of Worker

August 30, 2018 Updated: August 31, 2018

Three men have been arrested in the death of a construction worker who was run over by a steamroller in early 2016 in San Francisco’s Parkside neighborhood, prosecutors announced on Aug. 29.

According to prosecutors, 48-year-old Dublin man Ramiro Pena Pena, 41-year-old Pacifica man Michael Sommer, and 59-year-old Richmond man Manuel Silao were arrested on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter.

According to court records, Maurilio Rojas died when he was run over by a steamroller operated by another employee of L C General Engineering and Construction Inc., which prosecutors have identified as another defendant in the case.

Court records also say that Sommer, president of L C General Engineering and Construction Inc.; Silao, a project manager; and Pena, a foreman, all contributed to permitting a worker, who was unqualified, to operate a heavy roller at the construction site.

Prosecutors said the employee had no experience operating a steamroller and hadn’t received proper training to operate it and was operating it because his employer told him to.

He allegedly lost control of the steamroller near the intersection of Vicente Street and 18th Avenue and ran over Rojas, who was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with serious injuries before he died.

In a statement, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said, “When businesses ignore regulations designed to create safe workplaces, they put their employees and the community at risk.”

Pena was arraigned on Aug. 29. Sommer will be arraigned on Aug. 30, and Silao is scheduled for arraignment on Aug. 28.

L C General Engineering and Construction Inc. will be arraigned Sept. 24, prosecutors said.

By Keith Burbank and Sara Gaiser.