BYU football player killed in construction accident

Sione Veikoso was a freshman offensive lineman who transferred from Arizona State.

(Cindy Ellen Russell | Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP) A Honolulu Fire Department ladder truck is seen near the scene in Kailua, where at least a man died and a few others were seriously injured while building a retaining wall in Honolulu on Friday, Dec. 30, 2022.

BYU offensive lineman Sione Veikoso was killed in a construction accident in Kailua, Hawaii, the team announced late Friday.

“We are extremely saddened to learn of the tragic death of one of our brothers, Sione Veikoso,” BYU head coach Kalani Sitake wrote on Twitter. “His passing is heartbreaking to all of us. We offer our deepest condolences and prayers to his family as we share in their grief. Our love for you is forever, Sione!”

Veikoso was part of a crew working on a 15-foot retaining wall when part of it collapsed, according to media reports. KITV news reported that “several” people were trapped under the rubble after the collapse. Some people at the scene attempted to “rescue the trapped men using a mini excavator to remove large rocks,” according to reports, before firefighters manually removed the debris to reach the men. Two men were reportedly in serious condition.

“Sione wanted to make some extra money, wanted to make some extra money for his family,” his teammate Houston Heimuli told The Salt Lake Tribune. “... He was always willing and ready to help.”

Veikoso, 22, played high school football in Hawaii before going on a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

After his mission, he spent the 2021 season at Arizona State, appearing in one game. Veikoso transferred to BYU after that and spent the 2022 season with the Cougars, appearing in one game against Utah Tech.

“The BYU Football Family mourns the passing of our dear teammate and fellow Cougar, Sione Veikoso,” BYU athletics director Tom Holmoe said on Twitter. “May his family and friends feel our love and faith at this most sacred and difficult time. Peace be with you now and forever Sione.”

No other details were immediately available.