Employee of Tarpon company dies in S.C.
By ROBERT FARLEY
© St. Petersburg Times, published September 30, 2000
A 32-year-old Greek man who came to Tarpon Springs to work was killed while riding atop a semitrailer truck in South Carolina on Wednesday morning.
Grigorios Houllis, who was engaged to be married to a woman in Greece, died when his head struck a concrete overpass.
Houllis was an employee of Global Construction in Tarpon Springs, which paints and services bridges and overpasses.
Houllis was riding on the back of a flatbed trailer, sitting atop several pallets with a co-worker, while the truck was going 55 mph on Interstate 26 in Orangeburg, S.C. He was facing backward and never saw the overpass, said Lance Cpl. Dwight Green of the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
"He died instantly," Green said.
Tarpon Springs sponge merchant George Billiris said Houllis' family is in Greece. Troopers said his body is being sent home.
"He was a heck of a nice boy," Billiris said.
Green said he was told Houllis had come to the United States to work for several months.
The crew had just finished painting an overpass at I-95 and I-26 and were heading east to finish the job on the other side.
A supervisor had warned workers that day not to ride on the trailers when the trucks were moving, Green said. The driver of the truck was Frank Louis Biscuiti, 53, of New Port Richey.
"He (Houllis) should have been in the truck cab," said Sid Gaulden, a spokesman for the South Carolina Department of Public Safety. "Investigation showed he was doing something he probably shouldn't have been doing."
A spokesman with the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration in South Carolina said the agency would not be investigating Houllis' death because it does not look into deaths caused by vehicular accidents.
The owner of Global Construction did not return a call from the St. Petersburg Times Friday.
- Information from the Associated Press was used in this report. Staff writer Robert Farley can be reached at (727) 445-4185 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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