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Women Killed in Mine Accidents

High Plains Sand and Gravel
Russell Pit Powered Haulage Fatality

Wellington, Larimer County, Colorado
October 12, 2002
No. Killed - 1

MSHA Final Investigation Report  External Link

Other Woman Killed in Mine Accidents

Description of Accident

On the day of the accident, Helen L. Pittington (victim) and her husband Robert Pittington arrived at the mine site at approximately 9:30 a.m.  They went to the mine to work on the newly installed truck scales.  Helen worked on the controls inside the scale house while Robert backfilled material around the scales using the front-end loader.

At approximately 11:10 a.m., Helen walked a few hundred feet to the neighbors' house to ask if she could use the electrical outlet on their utility pole to power the scales.  Robert was unaware that she had left the scale house.  She stayed at the neighbors' for about 15 minutes and then walked back towards the scales.

Robert had backfilled around the west and south sides of the scales and had moved to the east end.  He had a small stockpile of material north of the scales and was using it to backfill.  After filling the loader's bucket, he looked over his right shoulder and checked his mirrors.  He backed the loader, then pulled forward to dump the bucket.  He felt a bump and thought he had run over a rock. He looked in his mirrors to back up when he saw his wife lying on the ground.

Robert got off the loader and began screaming. The neighbor and two other gentlemen, who were there airing up their truck tires, heard the screams, looked over and called 911. Emergency medical personnel arrived and pronounced the victim dead at 11:28 a.m. Cause of death was multiple trauma to the head and torso.

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