Injured Worker Survives

WESTFIELD – Despite reports to the contrary, a construction worker who fell from the roof of a North Road church Saturday has not succumbed to his injuries but “is going to be fine” according to the construction manager for the project.
City police had been notified Saturday afternoon that a person working on the dome of an addition to the Russian Evangelical Baptist Church at 866 North Road had slipped while reattaching his safety harness and fell about forty feet to the ground.
The worker, Yaroslav Zayats, of 96 Frederick St., West Springfield, was transported to Baystate Medical Center by Westfield Fire Department ambulance.
On Monday morning, a hospital spokesperson reported that Zayats was in “Fair” condition at the hospital.
Later on Monday, the construction manager of the project, Joseph Timakov, declined to comment on the accident and referred questions to the church’s pastor, Nikolay Goborinsky. A message left for the pastor at the church’s office was not returned.
On Tuesday morning, a hospital spokesperson reported that Zayats had passed away the night before and a story in the Tuesday edition of The Westfield News reported the accident and Zayat’s passage.
This morning, Timakov called the newspaper to report that, not only was Zayats alive but that “The doctor says he’s going to be fine.”
Timakov explained that Goborinski had asked him to speak with the press and he had called the newspaper the night before. But, he said, he had not left a message when he found the reporter he had spoken with was not at his desk.
Timakov calmly shared his disappointment – and that of Zayats’ family – about the erroneous report and reported that although Zayats suffered “multiple fractures” he was still alive. He said that Zayats was still at Baystate Medical Center where doctors had performed one operation and had scheduled another.  He has two broken arms.
Keith O’Connor, a senior public affairs specialist at the hospital who had not been working when the erroneous report was made, acknowledged the mistake and offered the hospital’s apology. He said “We’re looking into our processes now.”

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