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Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health

Accident Investigation Report
Surface Nonmetal Mine
(Sand and Gravel)

Fatal Powered Haulage Accident

Prihoda Gravel Company
Prihoda Gravel Mine
Altair, Colorado County, Texas
I.D. No. 41-02391

Date of Injury: May 28, 1998
Date of Death: June 04, 1998


Michael A. Davis
Supervisory Mine Safety and Health Inspector

Laman L. Lankford
Mine Safety and Health Inspector

Ayers D. Bowen
Mine safety and Health Inspector

Originating Office
Mine Safety and Health Administration
1100 Commerce Street, Room 4C50
Dallas, Texas 75242-0119

Doyle D. Fink
District Manager


Edward A. Sagissor, truck driver, age 60, was fatally injured at about 1:00 p.m. on May 28, 1998, when he was struck by a truck and pinned against the rear of his truck. Sagissor had no mining experience, but had been driving over the road trucks for about nine years. Neither of the drivers had received training in accordance with 30 CFR Part 48.

MSHA was notified at 8:30 a.m. the following day by a telephone call from the owner of the mining company. An investigation was started the same day.

The Prihoda Gravel mine, a surface sand and gravel operation, owned and operated by Prihoda Gravel Company, was located near Columbus, Colorado County, Texas. The principal operating official was Anthony Prihoda, owner. The mine was normally operated one, ten-hour shift a day, five and one-half days a week. Total employment was 2 persons.

Sand and Gravel was mined with a dragline. Pit run material was stockpiled at the pit area to be loaded on customer trucks. Material to be processed was carried by front-end loader to a screen where it was sized and then stockpiled. The finished products were sold primarily for use as building and road construction material.

Both Edward Sagissor and Richard Jacobsmeyer had rented the trucks they were operating from George Lapp Construction Company, on a pay-per-load basis. Each driver purchased material and delivered it to private customers in direct sales transactions.

The last regular inspection of this operation was completed on April 09,1998. Another inspection was conducted following this investigation.


The accident occurred at the stockpile area in the pit. Access to the pit area was a roadway designated for one-way traffic. Trucks were loaded from two stockpiles. One stockpile consisted of raw material and the other consisted of sized material. Loading was done by a front-end loader. The ground in this area sloped at a grade of about 1 percent.

The truck driven by Sagissor was a 1980, GMC, end-dump 18-yard capacity. The second truck involved in the accident was a 1975 Peterbilt, end-dump 16-yard capacity.

A complete brake overhaul had been performed on each of the trucks in January, 1998. On the day of the accident, both drivers recorded a pre-operational check prior to leaving George Lapp Construction's shop. There were no safety defects noted for either truck. Post accident tests conducted on the Peterbilt's braking system determined the braking system to be fully functional. There were no apparent safety or mechanical problems with either of the trucks involved.

Signs, were posted to control traffic around the pit, including a sign warning drivers to stay in their trucks while in the pit area. An area was designated near the scale house for tarping the trucks. These rules were enforced by the pit loader operator as well as by the mine owner.


On the day of the accident, Edward Sagissor (victim) and Richard Jacobsmeyer, arrived at the mine at about 12:45 p.m., to purchase a load of material. Sagissor stopped at the load ticket box and picked up two load tickets. He gave one ticket to Jacobsmeyer and both drivers proceeded to the loading area.

Sagissor was loaded first and drove his truck forward 80 to 100 feet, where he got out and began cleaning loose sand and gravel from the top rails of the bed. He worked his way from the front to rear of the truck. Meanwhile, Jacobsmeyer pulled his truck to the loading spot vacated by Sagissor.

While Jacobsmeyer was being loaded, he noticed a tar and oil mix build-up on his foot pedals. He leaned under the dash to clean this material from the pedals and, while doing so, his truck began rolling forward. Jacobsmeyer was still cleaning the pedals when his truck struck Sagissor, pinning him between the two trucks. He backed up and ran to help Sagissor, who had collapsed to the ground.

Anthony Prihoda, who was operating the dragline, observed the accident and ran to his truck to call the local 911 emergency assistance number. Sagissor was transported to a clinic in Eagle Lake Texas, and then air lifted to a Hospital in Houston, where he died on June 04, 1998.


The cause of the accident was failure to set the park brake on Jocobmeyer's truck, and his distraction while cleaning the tar from the foot pedals. A contributing factor was failure to use the designated area for tarping to clean spilled material from Sagissor's truck.


Order Number 4713581 was issued on May 29,1998 under the provisions of Section 103(k) of the Mine Act:

A fatal accident occurred at this mine at about 1:00 p.m., on May 5, 1998, when a haul truck struck a truck driver who was working on a parked truck. This order prohibits the use of the Peterbilt truck involved in the accident until MSHA determines it is safe to operate. This order is issued to assure the safety of persons at this mine until the affected areas can be returned to normal operations as determined by an authorized representative of the secretary. The mine operator and the independent contractor of the truck shall obtain approval from an authorized representative of the secretary for all actions to recover persons, equipment and/or restore operations in the affected area.

This order was terminated on May 29, 1998, after the truck involved in the accident was tested for possible brake system failure. All systems were found to be in functional condition and safe for miners to resume normal operation.

Citation Number 4456031 was issued on May 29, 1998, under the provisions of Section 104 (a) of the Mine Act for violation of 30 CFR Part 50.10:

The mine operator failed to immediately notify MSHA that a serious accident occurred on mine property. An accident involving the injury of a truck driver occurred at about 1:00 p.m. on May 28, 1998. MSHA was notified at approximately 8:30 a.m. on May 29,1998.

This citation was terminated on June 04, 1998, after the mine operator committed to future compliance with the reporting requirements of 30CFR Part 50.

Related Fatal Alert Bulletin:
Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon FAB98M26