Inspector in Philadelphia building collapse commits suicide

Posted Jun 14, 2013 by Marcus Hondro
The inspector for the city of Philadelphia who signed off on the demolition of a building that collapsed during the process, killing 6, has taken his life. Ronald Wagenhoffer, 52, was not blamed in the disaster and had continued working.
Emergency workers look for survivors after Philadelphia building collapse.
Emergency workers look for survivors after Philadelphia building collapse.
Mr. Wagenhoffer was found inside his truck last night, dead of what officials said appeared to be a self-inflicted gun wound. He'd been with Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections for 16 years and had a good work record.
"We're a city in deep and profound mourning. With the building collapse a week ago we have now lost seven lives with this tragedy," Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison told media today. "We're still burying people from last week, now we have to bury someone from today.
"For us, you have to understand that there are now five investigations, but right here and right now, this man did nothing wrong," Gillison added. "The department did what it was supposed to do under the code as it existed at the time. We are proud of this department and its employees, period."
Crane operator: high on marijuana, pills?
The worker who was running a crane and doing demolishing work on the sixth floor at the time of the collapse is facing criminal charges in the case. Sean Benschop, 42, is alleged to have been high on marijuana and pain killers while doing his job.
Mr. Benschop has been charge with six counts of involuntary manslaughter, 13 counts of recklessly endangering another person and one count of risking a catastrophe. A blood test allegedly revealed that he was on drugs at the time of the collapse.
Carlton Williams is the head of the department Mr. Wagenhoffer worked in and had high praise for his fallen inspector. "We strive to protect our citizens by enforcing the building codes. And that's what Ron did," Williams told media.
"He was a dedicated civil servant who loved his job."