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Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health


Surface Nonmetal Mine

Fatal Powered Haulage Accident
October 31, 2000

Overpeck Trucking Company, Inc. (A627)
Overpeck, Butler County, Ohio
Martin Marietta Magnesia Specialties
Martin Marietta Magnesia Specialties
Woodville, Sandusky County, Ohio
I.D. 33-00156

Accident Investigators

Gerald D. Holeman
Supervisory Mine Safety and Health Inspector

Daniel H. Hongisto
Mine Safety and Health Inspector

F. Terry Marshall
Mechanical Engineer

James A. Young
Mine Safety and Health Specialist

Originating Office
Mine Safety and Health Administration
North Central District
515 West First Street, Room 333
Duluth, MN 55802-1302
Felix A. Quintana, District Manager


William J. Tipton, truck driver, age 60, was fatally injured on October 31, 2000, when the raised trailer bed tipped, pinning him under the cab of the truck. Tipton had parked his truck and raised the trailer bed to distribute the material weight over the truck's axles. The accident occurred because safe procedures were not established and followed to distribute material in loaded over-the-road trucks.

Tipton had 24 years experience as a truck driver. He had received site-specific training in accordance with 30 CFR, Part 46.


Martin Marietta Magnesia Specialties, a surface limestone operation, owned and operated by Martin Marietta Magnesia Specialties, was located in Woodville, Sandusky County, Ohio. The principal operating official was Tim Tawney, plant manager. The facility normally operated three, 8-hour shifts, seven days a week. Total employment was 200 persons.

Limestone was drilled and blasted by contractors. Shot rock was loaded into off-road haul trucks by front-end loaders and transported to the primary crusher. The limestone was crushed, screened, and washed. The primary product was limestone heated in kilns, screened and sold as dolomitic lime for use in steel manufacturing. The remaining products were sold for construction aggregate.

The victim was employed by Overpeck Trucking Company, Inc., an independent contractor located in Overpeck, Butler County, Ohio. David E. Dillman, general manager, was the operating official. Total employment was 23 persons.

At the time of the accident, a regular inspection was in progress.


On the day of the accident, William J. Tipton (victim) arrived at the plant, obtained a load of dolomitic lime pebbles, and weighed out at the north scales at approximately 9:38 a.m. He exited the scales and pulled to the right side of the road along the east pack house wall, adjacent to the rail bed. Timothy S. Ponsaa, truck driver for R and J Trucking, pulled onto the north scales and watched Tipton start raising his trailer bed and walk to the rear to see if his load was shifting. As the bed extended upward, Tipton realized that the loaded trailer was leaning and ran to the truck's cab. As Tipton attempted to enter the cab to access the controls, the trailer and tractor tipped over, pinning him underneath.

Ponsaa notified the scale person who contacted 911. Company and emergency personnel arrived on the scene within a few minutes. Tipton was pronounced dead at the scene by Life Flight medical personnel. Death was attributed to crushing injuries.


MSHA was notified of the accident by radio communication to James E. Wood, mine safety and health inspector, who was conducting an inspection at the mine. An investigation began the same day.

MSHA's investigation team conducted a physical inspection of the accident site, interviewed a number of persons, and reviewed various records and procedures performed by the victim. An order was issued pursuant to Section 103(k) of the Mine Act to ensure the safety of the miners. Management officials and designated miners' representatives assisted in the investigation.


� The accident occurred on an asphalt lane between a building and a set of railroad tracks running parallel to the building. The lane was approximately 30 feet wide and had a slight material build up in some areas, which made the road slightly uneven. The road base under the tires was firm and it was reported to be dry at the time of the accident. The roadway where the tractor-trailer rig was parked during the accident was measured to be level, front to rear. There was a side slope of approximately 4.4 percent with the passenger side of the truck on the up-slope. This was calculated to equate to having the outer edges of the right side tires about 4.1 inches higher than the outer edges of the left side tires. This would create a lean of 14 to 20 inches at the top of the raised trailer.

� The tractor was a Model CH613, manufactured in 1999 by Mack Trucks, Inc., Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) 1M1AA18Y8YW118663. The odometer in the dash panel read 38,730 miles and the hour meter in the dash panel read 955 hours. The tractor was equipped with air applied S-cam activated, drum-type expanding shoe service brakes on the steering axle and the two drive axles. The front drive axle was equipped with Rotochambers that provided spring applied, air released parking brakes.

� The trailer was an end dump, frameless type, manufactured in 2000 by East Manufacturing Corporation, VIN 1E1F9U28-41RG29922. The dump body was constructed of aluminum with a box length of 39 feet and a width of 96 inches. The tandem axle chassis was 117 inches long and had a maximum width of 96 inches. It had a WABCO 2S1M air anti-lock service braking system with spring applied, air released parking brakes on both axles. These brakes were also S-cam activated drum-type expanding shoe.

� According to weigh bill documentation, the truck was loaded with 50,220 pounds of material and had a tare (empty) weight of 29,180 pounds, thus putting the gross (loaded) weight of the tractor-trailer at 79,400 pounds.

� The tractor had to be lifted in order to free the victim, therefore, no determination could be made on the orientation of the tractor relative to the trailer or the orientation of the steering tires relative to the tractor prior to the accident.

� The hydraulic dump hoist had an 8 inch diameter base cylinder with five stages and a total extension length of 265 inches. Each stage was reported to have approximately 53 inches of available extension. The extension lengths of the stages were measured with the truck in the accident position and totaled 249 inches.

� The tractor's steering tires were Goodyear G362 285/75/R24.5, the tractor's drive tires were Goodyear G357 285/75/R24.5, and the trailer's tires were Bridgestone R196 11R24.5. None of the tires were observed to be damaged.

� Both tractor and trailer had air ride suspension. The control linkages for the air suspensions were observed to be at the end of their ranges. All of the air suspension bags were observed to be deflated while the truck was in the accident position. Once the tractor-trailer was up-righted, the position of the control linkages changed, causing all of the air suspension bags to inflate. This indicated that the air suspension bladders were inflated during the time the trailer was being raised. The design of the system was such that if the load was increased on one side, it would force air to the bladder on the opposite side. No audible air leaks were detected in the air ride suspension systems and it was free of defects.

� The operator's manual for the East trailer warned against keeping a "hung load" elevated due to a tip-over hazard. It warned persons to stay away from a trailer while dumping. It also warned not to raise the dump body with the air springs inflated because the trailer may lean and create a tip-over hazard.

� The Sandusky County Sheriff's report noted the weather to be clear, chilly, and sunny. Reportedly, wind conditions were calm.


The cause of the accident was the failure to establish a safe method to distribute material in the loaded trailers of over-the-road trucks. Contributing factors were the 4.4 percent side slope of the roadway and raising the loaded dump body while the air suspension bags were inflated.


Order No. 7833329 was issued on October 31, 2000, under the provisions of Section 103(k) of the Mine Act:
A fatal accident occurred at this operation on October 31, 2000, when a contractor truck driver was crushed under the cab of his truck. The truck driver was attempting to level his load by raising the bed when the truck and trailer overturned. This order is issued to assure the safety of all persons at this operation until the mine or affected areas can be returned to normal mining operations as determined by an authorized representative of the Secretary. The mine operator shall obtain approval from an authorized representative for all actions to recover persons, equipment, and/or restore operations in the affected area.
This order was terminated on November 6, 2000. The Mack truck, VIN number 1M1AA18Y8YW118663, has been removed from this site. The east wall of the pack house has been barricaded from entry and the mine operator has made arrangements for its repair

Related Fatal Alert Bulletin:
Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon FAB2000M42


A. Persons Participating in the Investigation

B. Persons Interviewed

C. Drawing of accident scene


Persons Participating in the Investigation

J M Safety Consultants Jerry A. Miller .......... consultant
Overpeck Trucking Company, Inc.
David E. Dillman .......... general manager
R. C. Eversole .......... truck driver
Martin Marietta Magnesia Specialties
Mario J. Coslantini .......... loadout man
Mark A. Heineman .......... loader/unloader
Robert Villarreal .......... loadout man
Ralph W. Wingert .......... safety engineer
Jeffry L. Cecil .......... miners' representative
Paul J. Hetrick .......... miners' representative
R and J Trucking
Timothy S. Ponsaa .......... truck driver
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Gerald D. Holeman .......... supervisory mine safety and health inspector
Daniel H. Hongisto .......... mine safety and health inspector
F. Terry Marshall .......... mechanical engineer
James A. Young .......... mine safety and health specialist
Persons Interviewed Overpeck Trucking Company, Inc.
David E. Dillman general manager
R. C. Eversole truck driver
Martin Marietta Magnesia Specialties
Mario J. Coslantini .......... loadout man
Mark A. Heineman .......... loader unloader
Robert Villarreal .......... loadout man
Ralph W. Wingert .......... safety engineer
R and J Trucking
Timothy S. Ponsaa .......... truck driver