2011-12-07 / Front Page

Jenkins man killed in mining accident

Funeral services will be held Saturday for a Jenkins man killed in a surface mining accident in Virginia.

Services for Richard Yonts, 49, will be held at 11 a.m. on Dec. 10 at Polly and Craft Funeral Home in Jenkins. Burial will follow in the Baker cemetery at Payne Gap.

Visitation will be from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight (Dec. 9) at the funeral home.

According to Virginia Department of Mine, Minerals and Energy spokesman Mike Abbott, Yonts was operating an excavator near a highwall at Fairbanks Coal Company Number 4 Surface Mine in Stonega, Va. around 7:33 a.m. on Dec. 7 when part of the highwall collapsed on the machine, trapping Yonts inside. He was removed from the excavator at 11:30 a.m. and taken by ambulance to Lonesome Pine Hospital in Big Stone Gap, Va., where he was pronounced dead.

Abbott said investigators are trying to determine whether Yonts was scaling loose rock off of the highwall.

The mine remains closed while investigators with the Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration and Virginia Department of Mine, Minerals and Energy are on site finishing the investigation.

 

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