Agencies Investigating Fatal Accident at Mine, Death Of Dwr's Officer
Local, state and federal officials are investigating the unrelated deaths of a worker at Andalex coal mine and an employee of the Utah Division of Wildlife Services.
Last Thursday night, an accident claimed the life of a Castle Dale man at a coal mine on Airport Road in Carbon County.
According to Andalex official Sam Quigley, Jacob Jorgenson, age 29 of Castle Dale, was killed when a material tractor the victim was driving reportedly collided with a long wall shield stored on the surface.
Jorgenson, who had started his shift at 9 p.m., was traveling on the tractor to get a water tank to wet down mine roadways when the Jan. 22 accident occurred at about 11 p.m.
Last Thursday's fatality is the second death related to the coal industry to occur in Carbon County in the last year. The other death involved a truck accident at a different local coal mine.
Nationally, 20 people died from injuries incurred in underground and surface coal mining accidents last year.
The Jan. 22 fatal accident at Andalex is under investigation by the United States Mine Safety and Health Administration.
"Our company has also hired an independent investigator to look into and help us to understand the accident," said Quigley.
According to a press release issued by the state agency, DWR conservation officer Jon "Kip" Draper was found dead in the field Jan. 25 at about 2:30 a.m. The victim's body was discovered in Straight Canyon near Orangeville.
After Draper was reported missing by his family on Saturday at about 11 p.m., a search was immediately launched by DWR and the Emery County Sheriff's Office.
DWR employees located Draper's body about 50 yards from the canyon road, where the victim had apparently collapsed and died in the snow.
No indication of foul play existed, according to a preliminary investigation at the scene of the fatality. However, the state medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
Draper was believed to have been conducting a routine check of trapping activity in Straight Canyon, indicated Rudy Musclow, DWR law enforcement chief.
Draper worked for the Utah DWR for the last three years.