Employer of missing Baltimore bridge workers vows to help their families

With six workers who went missing after the collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge now presumed dead, attention is turning to helping their families. 

An executive with Brawner Builders, a general contractor in Hunt Valley, Maryland, told CBS MoneyWatch the workers had company-sponsored life insurance, while declining to disclose details regarding the policies. Separately, a GoFundMe campaign is aiming to raise $60,000 to help their survivors. 

“The company is doing everything possible to support the families and to counsel the families and to be with the families,” Brawner Builders executive vice president Jeffrey Pritzker said.

The six men were filling potholes on the center span of the bridge when a massive cargo ship struck the bridge early Tuesday morning. Originally from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico, the Maryland men were living with their families in Dundalk and Highlandtown, according to WJZ media partner The Baltimore Banner. 

So far, three of the missing workers have been identified:

  • Maynor Yassir Suazo Sandoval, originally from Honduras and who has been living in the U.S. for 20 years
  • Miguel Luna, originally from El Salvador
  • Dorlian Castillo Cabrera, originally from Guatemala 

Sandoval, 38, was the youngest of eight siblings from Azacualpa, a rural mountainous area in northwestern Honduras. He had worked as an industrial technician in Honduras, repairing equipment in the large assembly plants, but the pay was too low to get ahead, one of his brothers, Martín Suazo Sandoval, told the Associated Press Wednesday.

He always dreamed of having his own business,” he said.

What’s known about the 6 missing from Baltimore bridge collapse


Another brother, Carlos Suazo Sandoval, said Maynor hoped to retire one day back in Guatamala.

“He was the baby for all of us, the youngest. He was someone who was always happy, was always thinking about the future. He was a visionary,” he told the AP by phone Wednesday from Dundalk, Maryland, near the site of the bridge collapse.

Brawner intends to offer financial assistance to the missing workers’ families as they cope with the sudden loss of income, Pritzker said, without providing additional details on the company’s plans.

“They had families, spouses and children, and they were wonderful people who now are lost,” he said, describing the contractor as a tight-knit business where other employees were “very close” to the missing workers. 

“The company is broken,” Pritzker added.

In a statement on Brawner’s website, company owner Jack Murphy wrote that highway construction work is one of the most dangerous occupations in the U.S. 

Construction workers “go out every day on our highways to make things better for everyone,” he said. “Unfortunately, this tragic event was completely unforeseen and was not something that we could imagine would happen.”

Timeline of Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore


When performing highway work, Brawner always uses employees, rather than contractors, Pritzker said. But the company sometimes works on other projects, such as building schools, that require it to hire subcontractors. 

The GoFundMe campaign for the missing workers’ families was organized by the Latino Racial Justice Circle, an advocacy group that fights racial injustice, and had raised more than $58,000 as of Wednesday afternoon. Brawner Builders is linking to the GoFundMe on its website, directing people who wish to support the families to the fundraising effort. 

“There’s a great deal of other benefits that will be flowing to the families as a result of this tragedy,” Pritzker said, without providing further details. “Of course that can’t replace the lost of their loved ones.” 

—The Associated Press contributed to this report

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