Man passes away at work

A maintenance personnel at the Horiguchi Building in Garapan, where the U.S. District Court for the NMI is located, suddenly passed away after collapsing while at the building’s electrical room last Friday afternoon.

Saipan Tribune learned that Reuben Talens, who is in his early 60s, was with a co-worker and two court security officers inside the electrical room on the building’s ground floor when the incident happened.

Talens injured his head in the fall, a witness said.

The Department of Public Safety has yet to release information about the matter.

The electrical room is located near the entrance to the U.S. District Court for the NMI courtroom.

District Court chief deputy clerk Bill Bezzant said he was shocked to learn about what had happened because he just saw Talens that morning.

Bezzant said Talens, whom he had known the past 20-odd years, was always in the building every morning.

“In fact, sometimes I come here at 6am and Reuben (Talens) is already here, preparing things in the morning for maintenance of the building. He was the first one here every morning. [He was] very dedicated every day,” Bezzant said.

Bezzant said Talens was always a very positive person.

Reuben Talens

He was not aware as the incident was happening as he did not hear any commotion or siren from an ambulance. Bezzant’s office is on the second floor of the building.

A witness said he and Talens were both relaxing inside a small room in the electrical room when Talens stood up and suddenly fell.

Security officers then called 911. An ambulance arrived and brought Talens to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Prior to this, Talens had a mild stroke, according to his co-workers, which resulted in a slight limp in his walk.

Talens used to serve as a basketball referee on Saipan. He has a teen son who is studying on the island. Talens’ wife was in the U.S. mainland when the incident happened.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com
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