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Homeowner dies when concrete slab falls on him in Seminole

Published:   |   Updated: March 14, 2013 at 02:02 AM

Arben Berberi was so devoted to getting the work on the Seminole house done he would bring lights at night to work on it.

Now work has stopped on the home after a tragic accident took his life.

Berberi died after deputies say a concrete slab fell on him Friday morning during renovation of a home he co-owns with relatives in Seminole.

According to deputies, Berberi, 52, was working on an addition to a home he owns with his brother-in-law and father-in-law at 8080 Robin Road in Seminole when an eight-foot concrete slab gave way and fell on him.

Neighbor Sam Boriboun saw the wall slab fall and ran over to help.

"I tried to pull" the slab off Berberi, he said. "Too late. It came like, boom! That's it. One second."

Boriboun said the construction work had made him nervous because he could see there was no support for the wall.

A check of county records shows inspectors had been at the site in May and found un-permitted work on the wall. Neighbors say Berberi and his relatives tore it down and started over.

It was the new wall that fell, crushing Berberi to death.

Like Boriboun, Kristi Riley and her husband ran over, find Berberi wedged in a trench with the concrete on top of him. She grabbed an arm and felt for a pulse, but there wasn't one.

"I asked the guy what his name was, and the guy was telling me, 'Bennie, his name's Bennie.' I'm like, 'Bennie, can you hear me? If you can please squeeze my hand,' and nothing, nothing."

Berberi's brother-in-law, Genci Shkullaku, 36, tried CPR, but to no avail.

Shkullaku, 36, and Berberi's father-in-law, Shahin Shkullaku, 70, both of Seminole – were not injured, deputies said.

Deputies say the men purchased the house last spring.

An investigation is ongoing.

News Channel 8 reporter Peter Bernard contributed to this report.