‘One Dead, Another Critical After Mobile Home Falls on Workers Crushing One, Killing Another’ – Video, Reports, Manufactured Housing Associations Response, Lessons and Analysis


Manufactured housing and mobile home transport, installation, and removals are obviously not a risk-free profession, as this tragic report reflects. The deadly incident in this report literally made national news as USA Today, People, and the Washington Times were among the news organizations that covered the incident that occurred in a Fosteria, OH land lease manufactured home community. WTOL Toledo said: “At 11:05 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 8, the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to Hopewell Estates in Fostoria after two men were crushed beneath a mobile home.” Per ABC 13 Toledo: “The accident occurred on Jan. 8 at approximately 11:05 a.m. at Hopewell Estates in Fostoria [OH].” Based upon the photos and videos, the home in question appears to be a HUD Code manufactured home that was being prepared for a secondary move.

Part I

“According to officials, a Toledo company was preparing a mobile home for its removal, which is scheduled for Tuesday, when the air jacks failed and two workers were crushed beneath it. One of the workers, a 37-year-old man, was declared dead and the other, a 61-year-old man, was removed and required emergency help.

Toledo Life Flight was contacted for the second man who suffered internal injuries. The Seneca County Coroner’s Office was also contacted to come to the scene,” WVTG stated.

“OSHA was on scene following the incident,” per WTOL, which elaborated as follows.

QuoteMarksLeftSideIn a statement to the press, Sheriff Fredrick Stevens said, “This tragic accident in our community is horrific for all that had to respond and for the witnesses as well.”

Stevens also said that he’s praying for the family of the victims.

“Our partners in Law Enforcement and Fire and EMS was once again on display during this incident. Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of the deceased male and the injured male fighting with critical internal injuries,” Stevens said.”


As USA Today stated: “NATION. ‘Horrific’: Mobile home crashes down on workers in Ohio; 1 killed, 1 critically injured.”

As noted, the deadly accident occurred on January 8, 2024.  On 1.9.2024 there was no mention of the incident by either the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association (OMHA), nor the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), both of which claim to represent the post-production sector of the manufactured home industry.  The Q&A with Bing Copilot below reflect the essence of the inquiry and reply.

> “Has any trade group – i.e.: either the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association or the Manufactured Housing Institute – issued any condolences? Have they taken the time to explain that the accident was caused, per reports, by failure of the air jacks which have nothing to do with the manufactured homes? Or that far fewer people are injured or hurt in manufactured housing than in conventional construction?”

BingCopilotAI-Screen1.3.2024MHLivingNewsI could not find any information on the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association or the Manufactured Housing Institute issuing condolences regarding the incident you mentioned…

Regarding the incident you mentioned, I could not find any information on the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association or the Manufactured Housing Institute explaining that the accident was caused by failure of the air jacks. However, I found an article that provides some details about the incident. According to the article, the man was working underneath a mobile home when the air jacks failed, causing the home to fall on him 2.”

Tim Williams said that there are good arguments to be made to respond to every news report. But apparently, after making that remark, that is obviously not the case.

tim williams exev vp ohio mfg homes assoc
Tim Williams, OMHA.

Part of what was edited out […] above pointed to a press release dated 2017 that was on the topic of fire safety. Both OMHA and MHI were mentioned in that release. It came during a heated controversy about fire safety. It was one of several times that the executive director of the OMHA, Tim Williams, thanked and praised MHProNews for our coverage of that and other topics. Indeed, Williams said MHProNews is: “the premiere media outlet for our industry” adding: “And, on a personal note, it is a pleasure to work and talk with one of the finest and most personable leaders in our industry.”


Part II – Additional Information with More MHProNews Analysis and Commentary

Williams with 21st, a former MHI chairman and still the president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway owned 21st Mortgage Corporation arguably made the correct point when he said (as was previously cited above) that there is a good case to be made to respond to every story.

Surely, the tragic death of one and a serious injury to another working in the manufactured home industry that has made regional and national headlines merits a response, doesn’t it?

Public relations professionals are trained, or supposed to be, in tact, diplomacy, and are tasked with taking even difficult items and turning them into a positive.

At a minimum, PR professionals should be mitigating the potential harm.

The transport company in question could have been contacted.

Absolutely the families of the dead and injured could have been contacted too, but where they?

Appropriate remarks could have been prepared and a press release issued. But instead the evidence known at this time suggests silence in the wake of tragedy.

That leaves yet another problematic impression that underscores the remarks of two MHI members.


The principle of separating wheat from the chaff must be used with Frank Rolfe and all others. In quoting Rolfe, we are not endorsing his business practices, but rather pointing out an apt statement that criticizes the association he himself is a member of today.



‘Silence is Violence’

‘Silence is Violence’ to the cause of a healthy and growing manufactured housing industry, to paraphrase and apply that chant periodically picked up by younger and older protesters regarding an array of causes.

For an industry that is in a 13 month decline during an affordable housing crisis, there seems to be a startling lack of urgency on the part of MHI connected leadership to act.

That is a kind of ‘violence’ to both the people and the bottom lines of the industry.

Investors, affordable home seekers, employees, almost everyone (save possibly consolidators?!) are harmed by the relatively poor performance of manufactured housing in the 21st century and more specifically in the 2023 going into 2024.

It is also, as noted, troubling that some remarks were not crafted in conjunction with the transport/installation/moving company that employed those men to frame remarks that would indicate that their tragedy and injuries matter.

But there is a bigger picture and point to be made.

As terrible as every premature death or serious injury is, the conventional housing construction business appears to be far more dangerous and deadly. Consider the Q&A with Bing AI.

In response to inquiries by MHProNews are the following pull quotes.

BingCopilotAI-Screen1.3.2024MHLivingNews“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020, there were 174,100 cases of injuries in the construction sector 1.”

So said Bing Copilot on 1.9.2024. Also on that date was this reply.

BingCopilotAI-Screen1.3.2024MHLivingNewsThe number of construction workers who die each year varies depending on the source and the year of the data123According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 1,008 construction workers died in 201814According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5,333 construction workers died in 20192The death rate of construction workers is estimated to be between 3.5 and 40 per 100,000 workers23The most hazardous occupation in the construction industry is forestry labor, followed by construction laborers and supervisors45.”

By contrast, Bing Copilot could not find data on the numbers who die installing a manufactured home.

BingCopilotAI-Screen1.3.2024MHLivingNewsI could not find any information on the number of deaths that occur annually in manufactured housing installations.”


The point of the above is not to say that manufactured housing is perfectly safe, that is obviously not the case as this tragedy at Hopewell Estates near Toledo, Ohio reflects. The point is that compared to the mainstream site-built housing construction industry, manufactured housing appears to be significantly safer. If it were not so, then there would be studies and statistics that reflect otherwise. The safety standards for most manufactured home companies appear to be working most of the time.

This article was drafted yesterday (1.10.2024) and held until today (1.11.2024) to see if MHI or the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association (OMHA) would issue a public statement. At least per Bing Copilot, it appears the answer is the same. There is still no evidence that either has made a public announcement. Yet, when OMHA was battling with state officials a few years ago, a press release was issued to get out the joint message from both OMHA and MHI.

As evidence of the apparently insensitive and arguably mistaken fumble by OMHA and MHI is the following Q&A with Bing AI. The pre-dawn inquiry is by MHProNews, and Bing AI’s response follows.

> “WTOL Toledo said: “At 11:05 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 8, the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to Hopewell Estates in Fostoria after two men were crushed beneath a mobile home.” Per ABC 13 Toledo: “The accident occurred on Jan. 8 at approximately 11:05 a.m. at Hopewell Estates in Fostoria [OH].” Can you find any public outreach or remarks by any manufactured home industry trade group on these tragedies? Did the Manufactured Housing Institute issue a statement? Or the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association?

BingCopilotAI-Screen1.3.2024MHLivingNewsI’m sorry to hear about the tragic accident that occurred at Hopewell Estates in Fostoria. I searched for any public outreach or remarks by any manufactured home industry trade group on these tragedies, and I found the website of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) 1. MHI is the only national trade organization representing all segments of the factory-built housing industry. However, I could not find any statement or outreach by MHI or the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association regarding the incident at Hopewell Estates.

I hope this information helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

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