Skip to content


Surface Nonmetal Mill
(Crushed Limestone)

Fatal Fall of Person Accident
April 16, 2001

Godwin Material Service, Inc. (UGI)
Brantley, Crenshaw County, Alabama


SRM Aggregates, Inc.
Calera, Shelby County, Alabama
Mine I.D. No. 01-03076

Accident Investigators

Steve J. Kirkland
Supervisory Special Investigator

James W. Ramirez
Mine Safety and Health Specialist

Originating Office
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Southeast District
135 Gemini Circle, Suite 212; Birmingham, AL 35209
Martin Rosta, District Manager


Edward Daniels, contract truck driver, age 59, was seriously injured on April 16, 2001, when he fell while attempting to secure a tarp over the loaded bed of his truck. Daniels had climbed onto the trailer tire to try to loosen a bungie cord that had become tangled in the tarp when he fell. He died as a result of the injuries on April 21, 2001.

The accident occurred because the victim lost his balance while standing on the rear trailer tire.

Daniels had a total of 2 years experience as a truck driver. He hauled rock from this quarry for 2 years. He had received training in accordance with 30 CFR Part 46.


Varnons, a crushed limestone operation, owned and operated by SRM Aggregates, Inc. was located six miles north of Calera, Shelby County, Alabama. The principal operating official was Bobby Horton, superintendent. The plant was normally operated one, 10-hour shift a day, five to six days a week. Total employment was 16 persons.

The crushing operation consisted of one primary crusher, six sizing and screening plants and one pug mill. Limestone was purchased from a nearby quarry and hauled by truck to the mill where it was crushed, sized, washed and stockpiled. The finished product was sold for use as a construction aggregate.

The victim was employed by Godwin Material Services, Inc., located in Brantley, Crenshaw County, Alabama. This company was contracted to haul material to and from various mine sites throughout the area. The principal operating official was Jerry Godwin, vice president. The contractor employed 85 persons who worked an average of 11 hours a day, five days a week. Two trucks, owned and operated by Daniels and his son were leased to Godwin Materials Services Inc. The last regular inspection at this operation was completed January 31, 2001.


On the day of the accident, Edward Daniels (victim) had gone to four other mines to pick up and deliver loads of materials. At 1:44 p.m., he arrived at the Varnons mine. After being loaded at the stockpile, he proceeded to the scales, then to the tarping area.

Daniels was positioned on the ground and used a hand-operated crank to place the tarp over the trailer. He then began securing the tarp with bungie cords. One of the cords on the right rear side had gotten tangled in the tarp and Daniels climbed on the right rear trailer tire to reach the cord to free it. While he was trying to untangle the cord, he slipped and fell off the tire and landed on the graveled roadway.

Daniels son and co-worker, David Daniels, was at the area tarping his truck and witnessed the accident. He immediately went to assist the victim and found him unconscious with a severe head injury. A mine employee stopped to help, then went to the scalehouse and instructed the weigh master to call 911 and request emergency assistance.

Emergency medical personal arrived after serval minutes and the victim was transported to a local hospital. He was later transfered to a hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, where he died on January 21, 2001. Death was attributed to severe trauma to the head.


MSHA was notified of the accident at 8:00 p.m. on April 16, 2001, by a telephone call from Bobby Horton, plant manager for SRM Aggretgates, Inc., to Harry Verdier, assistant district manager. An investigation was started the next day. MSHA's accident investigators traveled to the mine, made a physical inspection of the accident scene, interviewed employees, and reviewed conditions and work procedures at the time of the accident. MSHA conducted the investigation with the assistance of mine management and mine employees. The miners did not request nor have representation during the investigation.


� The accident occurred at the tarping area located on both sides of 60-foot wide graveled roadway, near the entrance to the mine. Both areas measured 13-1/2 feet wide by 620 feet long.

� The truck involved in the accident was a 1989 Freightliner, model FLD120, s/n 355704, powered by a Caterpillar diesel 350 cubic-inch engine.

   The victim was tarping a Dorsey, end-dump, steel and aluminum trailer manufactured in 1998. It was 35 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 70 inches high. The trailer was equipped with a hand-operated crank that positioned the tarp over the top of the trailer bed. The crank was operated from ground level.

� The trailer had been loaded with 56,360 pounds of material. It had a tare (empty) weight of 29,560 pounds, which put the total gross (loaded) weight of the tractor-trailer at 85,920 pounds.

� The trailer was equipped with dual axle, tandem wheels that were 25 inches in diameter and measured 41-1/2 inches high. The tires on the trailer were size 11R24.5.

� Documentation showed that Edward Daniels has received site specific hazard awareness training at this mine.

� Weather on the day of the accident was clear, sunny, cool and windy. The roadway and tires of the tractor and trailer were dry.


The accident occurred because the tire did not provide an adequate platform for the victim's feet as he stood on it to untangle the bungie cord.

. Related Fatal Alert Bulletin:
Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon FAB00M10


Persons Participating in the Investigation

SRM Aggregates, Inc.
Jim Reynolds..........area manager
Bobby Horton..........superintendent
Dana manager
Charles E. Beck.........truck driver
Godwin Material Services
Jerry Godwin..........president
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Steve J. Kirkland..........supervisory special investigator
James W. Ramirez..........mine safety and health specialist

Persons Interviewed

SRM Aggregates, Inc.
Jim Reynolds..........area manager
Bobby Horton..........superintendent
Dana manager
Charles E. Beck..........truck driver
Godwin Material Services
Jerry Godwin..........president