Construction Angels come to the rescue after the tragedy of construction accidents

"Angels" help victims with money and counseling

TAMPA - Shelby "Kenny" Shull lost his son and namesake last week to a hit and run driver.

Shelby Shull Jr., 44, was on a road project in Lakeland when a truck burst through the barricades and killed him.

"We cremated him. We brought the urn home yesterday," said Schull, the pain of the loss on his face.

But even in his grief, Shull was suspicious when a group he never heard of offered to help him with immediate expenses.

"At first when I heard the call come in, I thought it was somebody with a sales pitch who wanted to sell me something," said Shull.

Construction Angels, based in South Florida, was only there to help. Founder Kristi Ronyak said Shelby's tragedy is all too common among construction workers in Florida.

"Since May 7 of this year, there have been 10 construction fatalities in Florida," said Ronyak.

Of the roughly 1,000 construction fatalities nationwide each year, about a third are from falls. Being struck by a vehicle or other object is the next most common cause of death.

Construction Angels helped the family of the man swallowed by the earth beneath a water treatment pipeline in Ruskin in January.

"Construction fatalities are a very painful way to go," said Dean Sims of Sims Crane and Equipment in Tampa.

Sims' company supports Construction Angels as a way to help families who have lost their loved one and often times their only bread winner.

"They're not ready for that and they don't prepare for it. And they don't kiss their loved one goodbye in the morning expecting them not to come home," said Sims.

Shelby Shull was one of those who never came home, but his survivors have not been left to fend for themselves alone.  

Police have located the Jeep Wrangler they suspect hit and killed Shelby Shull. They're now working to find the driver.

You can learn more about the charity helping families in our area at .

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