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Wake expects state fine in employee's death

Posted May 12, 2008

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— Wake County officials said Monday that they anticipate the state Department of Labor will fine the county $22,400 for safety violations that led to an employee's death in February.

David Champion, 33, was killed Feb. 26 when the back end of an ambulance on which he was working fell on him at the Wake County General Services Fleet Management facility.

An initial investigation suggested a car jack might have slipped from underneath the ambulance that fell on Champion.

County officials met last week with representatives of the state office of Occupational Safety and Health to review findings of the state's investigation. David Goodwin, the director of the county's General Services Administration, issued a statement Monday in which he said he expects the state to cite the county with four violations in Champion's death.

Each violation carries a $5,600 fine.

"We take these findings seriously, and they will be incorporated into the steps we have already taken to improve our fleet safety program" Goodwin said in the statement. "Additional safety training and safety equipment has been provided to fleet mechanics to help prevent this or any other type of accident from happening, and a comprehensive review of the GSA fleet safety program is currently being conducted by a qualified safety consultant."

Work in the garage, where 14 people are employed, was halted for four days after the accident so officials could review policies. Goodwin said a state instructor also would provide training on safety procedures and that mechanics would be required to review rules with one another.

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  • Doddlebug12 May 13, 2008

    David was a very dear friend to my famliy, he girlfriend is my best friend.. and we miss him dearly each and everyday.. he loved life and those that he came to know.

  • RonnieR May 12, 2008

    Fines go to the BoE in the county in which the offense ocurred.

  • dogman1973 May 12, 2008

    Drug screenings are pretty normal especially with mishaps/deaths. I know in the military that we would do drug screenings on the flight crew when there was a mishap. They initially blame the individual(s) until cleared and then work their way up from there.

  • Adelinthe May 12, 2008

    A jack slipping can happen anywhere, even in our own driveways, but the fact that the county is EXPECTING fines leads me to believe something was truly amiss and they know it.

    Praying for this fellow's loved ones.

    And no, the fines don't go to the family, but with the institution of fines, lawsuits can now follow.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • 2headstrong May 12, 2008

    I believe the thought behind a drug screen on the victim is to find out whether the victim was impaired at the time and caused his own death.

  • garden May 12, 2008

    So where does the money go? To the family or to another government agency.

  • Scubagirl May 12, 2008

    how do you do a drug screen on a jack??? ;>)

  • redwarrior May 12, 2008

    Drug screen on the victim? For what purpose?

  • OLD PIRATE 2 May 12, 2008

    This is nuts...one govt. agency fineing another ...and not before an event but after it... 20/20 stupidity...

  • thomp02 May 12, 2008

    Does it matter?

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