Citations Issued in Kentucky Coal Mining Death

March 28, 2008

Kentucky mine safety officials issued multiple citations in the death of an eastern Kentucky coal truck driver who was killed at Blue Ridge surface mine in Letcher County.

Authorities say 29-year-old Roy D. Sturgill died Jan. 8 after his truck backed over a dumping point and continued to go down the slope. Sturgill was employed by Bates Contracting in Whitesburg, Ky.

An investigation by the Office of Mine Safety and Licensing released Wednesday says the crash could have been prevented if the operator, Cumberland River Coal, had followed state law.

The inspection found the barrier that was supposed to prevent Sturgill’s truck from tumbling over the wall was not adequate, and that the foreman in charge did not ensure work was being done safely.

St. Louis-based Arch Coal Inc., parent company of Cumberland River Coal, declined comment to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader,

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