West Virginia Records Year’s First Mine Fatality

February 9, 2009

West Virginia has recorded its first coal mining-related fatality of the year.

A driver was killed Friday when he lost control of a coal truck on a haul road at a Republic Energy surface mine in eastern Kanawha County.

West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training spokeswoman Jama Jarrett identified the victim as 70-year-old William Wade of Bloomingrose. Wade was an employee of Medford Trucking.

Jarrett says Wade lost control of the loaded truck while traveling downhill. The truck hit an embankment and rolled over.

She says authorities are investigating whether there was a mechanical failure.

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration’s Web site doesn’t list any coal-related fatalities this year, so Wade’s death would be the first in the nation.

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