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4 escape serious injury after trapped in hopper

Posted 11 August 2014 at 12:00 am

Press release, Orleans County Sheriff Scott Hess

BARRE – Four men escaped serious injury this morning after they became trapped in a hopper containing a mixture of sand and gravel at a commercial business in the Town of Barre.

The incident occurred at about 10:45 a.m. at Frontier Sand & Gravel in the 4700 block of Eagle Harbor Road. A large hopper was being loaded with material when it became over-loaded & blocked. Jacob E. Vick, 20, of Albion entered the hopper along with his brother Lawrence Vick, 22, of Albion; Devin Taylor, 19, of Medina; and Richard Miller, 61, of Albion. Their intent was to shovel the excess material and free-up the blockage.

At some point Miller sank to an opening in the bottom of the hopper that leads to a conveyor belt, and consequently he became totally covered in material. During the efforts of the other three men to rescue him, Jacob Vick sank to the lower level as well and became partially covered in material.

All four men were finally able to extricate themselves, assisted by Barre firefighters. All four sustained minor injuries and were treated at the scene by fire department EMS and Central Orleans Vol. Ambulance personnel. None of the victims were transported.

The incident was investigated by Lieutenant Chris Bourke. There will be a follow-up investigation by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration.