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COAL MINE FATALITY - On Tuesday, March 14, 1995, a truck driver was fatally injured when the truck he was driving up an ascending 10 percent grade rolled backwards and turned over. The truck was loaded with rock, and it was making it's fourth trip of the day, but this driver was making his first. The driver was heard shouting over the two-way radio that "this truck has no brakes." An eyewitness saw the truck rolling backwards down the grade, and the victim was last seen in the door apparently trying to jump from the truck. The truck ended up on its side with the victim pinned beneath the cab. The damage to the cab was limited, and it is possible that the victim could have survived had he remained in the cab.

The victim had two weeks experience on this job, and he had demonstrated the ability to drive the truck to experienced drivers who had accompanied him on some trips.

The investigation is continuing into the question of why the brakes did not stop the loaded truck from rolling backwards down the grade. The driver who made the other three trips with the truck stated that the brakes were working.

This is the fifth coal mine fatality in 1995. As of March 14 last year, there had been nine fatalities. This death is the fourth classified as POWERED HAULAGE in 1995.

Photograph of the accident scene

For more information:
Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon MSHA's Fatal Accident Investigation Report [FTL95C05]