Passage of Time Hampers Investigation of West Virginia Mining Accident

May 16, 2008

A West Virginia official says the passage of time makes it impossible to determine what caused a fatal 2005 coal truck crash.

Administrator Terry Farley said May 14 the Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training was hampered because it didn’t start investigating until 2007. By then, Farley says there was no way to consider factors such as mechanical problems because the truck was no longer available.

The state’s accident report is limited to facts such as road conditions and the experience of 25-year-old driver Chad Cook, who died in the Nov. 8, 2005, wreck.

Cook’s death was reclassified as a mining accident last year after regulators determined it occurred on a mine road near the Grant-Tucker county line, not on a public highway as originally thought.

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