On August 19, 1999, Eric was killed while constructing a metal building when a crane tipped over and took down the whole building he was working on… The judge fined the individual Crane Operator $10,000. It was the first time an individual had ever been held accountable for his actions at work in Manitoba and the maximum fine was handed out that day.
Sadly, to our dismay, the charges against the company he worked for were later dismissed. We were very disappointed by that as they seemed to show no sign of remorse for what they had done. They were simply content to let the operator assume full responsibility for the accident. I have since obtained a copy of the investigation which clearly shows otherwise…
“His name was “Eric Scott Helgeson, but he was so much more than just one person. He was a great grandson, a grandson, a nephew and a cousin. To many, many more people, he was “Helgy,” the kid who everyone got along with, the guy you could always count on to be there for you and made you feel good about yourself. He was a best friend. To his co-workers, he was “Beaner”, the youngest one on the crew, the one to tease and joke around with, the one with the goofy grin, the kid who would do anything that was asked of him, he was like a little brother.
To a 16 year old girl named Sheena, he was a role model, a confidante, a protector, not only her Big Brother, but her best friend. To an 8 year old boy named Brock, he was someone to wrestle with, someone to wait up for on those rare occasions he could come home, someone who gave him rides in his cool car (a beat up Red Acadian), someone to cheer him on at hockey games. His Big Brother, his Hero.
Eric was and will always be all these things to all of these people. He was the kid who rode his bike half way across Winnipeg to visit his “Nana” on one of her many trips to the city for chemo and radiation treatments, just to bring her flowers… Eric was kind and caring and loved his family more than anything else in this world. He was my son and his father and I were oh, so proud of the young man he had become…”