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Lake Geneva construction worker dies after fall from roof (UPDATE)

Building materials lay on the ground at the site of a project at the Lake Geneva Yacht Club on Tuesday in Fontana. Keith Krause, 45, owner of Lake Geneva-based Krause Buildings LLC for 15 years, died Thursday, nine days after falling from the roof of the building. (Staff photo by Kevin Harnack)

By Kirsten Klahn

Keith Krause

A construction company owner died Thursday, nine days after falling through the roof of a building owned by the Lake Geneva Yacht Club in Fontana, according to a police report.

Keith Krause, 45, was the owner of Lake Geneva-based Krause Buildings LLC for 15 years, according to an obituary published by Haase Lockwood Funeral Homes and Crematory.

He was working July 3 on a roofing job for the yacht club, 1250 S. Lakeshore Drive, when he fell, according to a police report by the Fontana Police Department. Krause, according to the report, was working with two of his employees, Eric Laneve and Alexander Caudill.

According to the report, Krause fell about 20 feet through a weak spot on the roof, and Laneve called 911 at 4:32 a.m., while Caudill went to check on Krause. The crew was working on the roof early in the day to avoid the anticipated extreme heat of the afternoon, according to the report.

A Fontana police officer who arrived at the scene noted Krause had several lacerations and was bleeding from his head, according to the report. Krause was taken to the St. Benedict’s Church parking lot, according to the report, and was airlifted to Froedtert Memorial Hospital in Wauwatosa.

Laneve on Wednesday declined to comment on the accident.

An official with the Madison office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration confirmed the office is investigating an incident at the club. He declined to provide more information because of an ongoing investigation.

John Simms, the yacht club’s commodore, said no other yacht club employees were present at the time of the accident.

“It’s such a shame,” Simms said. “He had done work for us before and always did a good job. It’s such a tragedy and never should have happened.”

Krause died at 5:52 p.m. July 12, said Kevin Krause, Keith Krause’s brother. Kevin Krause said when his brother was taken to the hospital, doctors gave him a 5 percent chance of survival because of the extent of his injuries, which included a fractured skull, torn aorta, multiple broken bones and internal bleeding.

“There were complications from the injuries,” Kevin Krause said. “He survived through four surgeries and defeated the odds, but the odds caught up with him I guess.”

According to the obituary, funeral services for Keith Krause will be at 1 p.m. Friday in the auditorium of Badger High School in Lake Geneva, and interment will be in Oak Hill Cemetery.

Kevin Krause said his brother would be missed by many, including one sister, three brothers and three children.

“Keith was the kind of person that at any time was there to help,” Kevin Krause said. “He’d be there at a moment’s notice, and he really did that up to his very last day.”

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