Local News

Man Dies in Concrete Company Sand Pit

Posted March 6, 2007 11:18 a.m. EST
Updated March 6, 2007 4:09 p.m. EST

— A worker for a Fayetteville concrete company died Tuesday morning after being buried under a mound of sand, authorities said.

The accident occurred at about 9:15 a.m. Tuesday at  S & W Ready Mix Concrete Co., located at 1309 Reilly Road.

Barry Johnson, 50, of 5006 New Moon Drive in Fayetteville, was working in a large bin known as a sand hopper, where he was trying to remove a large rock that was stuck inside, authorities said. The sand somehow gave way and poured through a chute above Johnson's head, burying him, authorities said.

Johnson's head was above the sand, allowing rescue workers to provide him oxygen while they tried to dig him out. But he wasn't breathing when rescue crews arrived at the scene, and authorities said the weight of the sand proved to be too much and he died of his injuries.

Crews worked for about six hours to extricate Johnson's body from the sand pile.

The plant manager said Johnson had worked for the concrete company for about 15 years and wasn't violating any safety rules by climbing into the sand hopper.