THE future beckoned like an endless summer for Ben Catanzariti – a dream new job, a loving partner and family, and hopes of buying his first home.
But in a freak workplace accident that has left his family and friends devastated, the Griffith 21-year-old was killed on Saturday when a 39-metre concrete pouring boom collapsed on top of him at a Canberra building site.
Ben’s parents Barney and Kay Catanzariti made the sombre journey to Canberra yesterday, where their son had been living for the past 18 months, to identify his body.
Tributes have flowed in for the former Wade High student and talented sportsman, who was well-known in local athletics, rugby league and basketball circles.
He has been remembered as a “rough diamond” with a heart of gold, a hard working concreter with a passion for his family and a mischievous, fun-loving streak.
Mrs Catanzariti said she would forever treasure her final conversation with Ben on Friday night, less than 12 hours before the tragic accident.
“For some reason, I just knew I had to speak to him,” Mrs Catanzariti said.
“I called him and told him how much I loved him and how proud I was of him.”
She said her son maintained a child-like innocence that drew people to him.
“He touched a lot of people because he genuinely cared about them,” she said.
Two other workers from Belconnen Concrete, where Ben had started working just three weeks ago, were injured in Saturday’s accident.
Ben Catanzariti is survived by brother Jack and parents Kay and Barney.
Funeral arrangements are yet to be finalised.