Mine issued violation notices in bulldozer driver’s death in Fayette County

UPDATE (5/25/18)

BECKLEY, W.Va. (WOAY) — A mine in West Virginia has been issued three violation notices over the death of a man in a bulldozer that plunged 100 feet (30 meters) when the ground underneath gave way.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the state’s Board of Coal Mine Health and Safety reviewed the death of 34-year-old Thurman Watts at a meeting Wednesday in Beckley. The state said Watts drove the bulldozer too close to a precipice on Dec. 29.

The state Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training issued the violation notices to Revelation Energy LLC, the company that owns S7 Surface Mine. The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration said safe work practices weren’t followed, that ground conditions were irregular and that operators must have control of mobile equipment.


Original Story (12/9/17)

MOUNT HOPE, WV (WOAY) – One person has died due to a mining bulldozer accident on Town Creek Rd. in Mount Hope.

Emergency officials tell WOAY News that a call came in at 2 a.m. Friday morning.

Thurman A. Watts, 34, of Harts was killed at the Revelation Energy LLC Revelation S7 mine in Fayette County, according to a news release from the West Virginia Commerce Department.

The man was working a bulldozer when he rolled 150 feet off of a strip mine. He was flown to Charleston Area Medical Center where he later died.

Governor Jim Justice released the following statement:

“Cathy and I are deeply saddened today after learning of the death of one of our coal miners in Fayette County.
It’s heartbreaking when we hear that one of our coal miners has lost their life while on the job.  Please join us in praying for the family, friends, and co-workers of Thurman A. Watts and all of our hard working and dedicated coal miners in West Virginia.”

U.S.Senator Joe Manchin (D, WV) released the following statement:

“All of West Virginia is heartbroken to learn of the loss of Thurman A. Watts today. Yet again, we are reminded of the incredible sacrifices our coal miners and their families make every day. Gayle and I join the entire state in sending our thoughts and prayers to the Watts family during this difficult time.”

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R, WV) released the following statement:

“West Virginia miners like Thurman Watts put a lot on the line to power our country and provide for their loved ones, and it’s always heartbreaking to hear about this kind of loss. Thinking of and praying for the Watts family today.”

Stay with WOAY News for more updates on this developing story.

Sponsored Content
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com