Construction Accident Survivor Recaps His Ordeal

By: Brad Broders
By: Brad Broders

Lying on his back, his legs pinned underneath 5,000 pounds of concrete, 47-year-old Peter Wells feared for his life.

"Scary feeling to know when someone was going to find you or when help was going to come," Wells said.

As he awaited rescue crews, Wells' first thought was co-worker Craig Bicker, who worked next to him when concrete collapsed Thursday in Loves Park.

"You're partners. You work together. You look out for each other. I was helpless. I couldn't do nothing for actually either one of us," Wells said.

While eight area fire departments arrived quickly, it took an hour of wrecker lifts and air bags to free the two men. Wells says the rescue crews provided a constant presence in an uncertain time.

"My thanks; my family and everybody, thanks to the people that deserve it, gave their efforts to us, it was phenomenal to see how people came together," Wells said.

However, the rescue could not save the life of Bicker, who died shortly after. He and Wells teamed up on countless projects during the last four years. His partner says Bicker's handiwork carried over from his job to his Freeport community.

"When you work that long together, that everything went hand in hand, you are doing this, you know that he was going to get that done, and we worked close together all the time," Wells said.

Despite his partner's death, Wells says no one is at fault for Thursday's tragic accident.

"I can't blame anybody, because there's so many ifs, ands or buts and circumstances about any accident that nobody will know the answer to them," Wells said.

His injured leg is healing, Wells is recovering and surrounded by a different type of rescue crew: his family, providing hugs, love and an important new take on life.

"It's a different feeling, that you know you were in a situation where you almost weren't able to come back home, and that you've got a little more appreciation for everybody that's around you all the time," Wells said.

Wells also says he's sending his condolences to Craig Bicker's family. He will have a follow-up visit on his injured leg in 10 days. For now, his focus is recuperating.


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