Christopher Cassaniti, 18, (pictured) died of asphyxiation when scaffolding collapsed on him at the Lachlan’s Line site in Macquarie Park, in Sydney’s north west on April 1 2019
A grieving mother is still tormented by her teenage son’s cries for help as he was crushed to death in a worksite accident.
Christopher Cassaniti, 18, died of asphyxiation when scaffolding collapsed on him at the Lachlan’s Line site in Macquarie Park, in Sydney’s north west on April 1, 2019.
He ran out of oxygen after being trapped in the rubble for 20 minutes.
His mother Patrizia Cassaniti said she stopped breathing around the same time, when she heard news there was an accident at the worksite.
‘I was running. My anxiety was so bad I couldn’t breathe,’ she said.
Five days earlier her son had celebrated his 18th birthday.
Christopher Cassaniti started working as a first year apprentice in January 18, after finishing up at St Patrick’s College
Grieving Mother Patrizia Cassaniti said she stopped breathing around the same time her son did, when she heard news there was an accident at the worksite (pictured: Patrizia and Rob Cassaniti Darlinghurst Local Court on Friday afternoon)
Christopher Cassaniti celebrated his milestone birthday with proud parents Patrizia and Rob before his death
Christopher Cassaniti (pictured) celebrated his 18th birthday with workmates five days before his life was tragically cut short at the construction site he was working at
The family shared a cake and he made a passing remark during his speech which still haunts her today.
‘He said one phrase that just blows my mind. He said, “It’s been a great 18 years”,’ Ms Cassaniti said according to The Northern District Times.
She raced to the construction site where he was working as a first year carpenter, only to discover 30 metres of scaffolding had collapsed in a pile of rubble.
She raced to the construction site where he was working as a 1st year carpenter, only to discover 30 metres of scaffolding had collapsed in a pile of rubble. It wasn’t long before she found out her son was buried underneath
Chrisopher Cassiniti’s offhand comment during his 18th birthday speech still haunts his mother (pictured with his mum before the accident)
It wasn’t long before she found out her son was buried underneath.
She was told there was nothing officers could do save him.
Ms Cassaniti still thinks about the horrible death he must have endured, lying beneath the debris in fear crying out for help.
She described the ordeal in a devastating impact statement read out at Darlinghurst Court on Friday.
Before sharing her story she set up a tribute to her son on the court bench in front of her.
It featured a teddy bear filled with his ashes wearing a Hi-Vis vest and a hard hat, as well as a framed photograph of her son.
GN Residential Construction Pty Ltd, otherwise known as Ganellen, was convicted of health and safety violations at the court sentencing hearing.
The court heard from SafeWork New South Wales, who accused the company of failing to put in place measures for something that was ‘readily foreseeable.’
Representative John Agius argued the company could have prevented the accident.
His mother brought a teddy bear filled with his ashes wearing a Hi-Vis vest and a hard hat to the courthouse to pay tribute to her son
She told the courthouse in a victim impact statement she had received a ‘life sentence’ for her son’s death
He said they were aware the scaffolding was free standing and if they had installed scaffold ties the structure would have been more stable.
Mr Agius told the court the company knew about the safety risks because of an earlier independent report which identified this very issue.
Concerns were also raised over how much weight was put on the scaffolding.
But there was a dispute between Ganellen and sub-contractor Synergy over how much weight that particular scaffolding could hold.
Shattered workers comfort each other at the Macquarie Park apartment block after the worksite accident in April 2019
Despite this, chief executive of the parent company Ganellen Peter Maneas admitted fault upon exiting the courthouse on Friday.
He offered their deepest sympathies to the family and co-workers of Christopher Cassiniti.
They will be sentenced on December 18.
Meanwhile the tradesman’s mother remains in mourning.
She said she has been dealt her own prison term because of the company’s failure to provide a safe workplace.
Family and Friends grieve for the 18-year-old during his funeral service at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney on April 12 2019
He then began working as formwork carpenter at the Macquarie Park worksite when he was killed in a worksite accident
‘As a mother I have received a life sentence and the excruciating pain of losing a child,’ she said.
Christopher Cassaniti started working as a first year apprentice in January 18, after finishing up at St Patrick’s College.
He then began working as formwork carpenter at the Macquarie Park worksite.
His mother worked only minutes away, serving coffee from a mobile coffee cart outside the construction site.
She had struggled to give birth for six years before finally falling pregnant with her older son Adrian, then Christopher some months later.