Skip to content

South Central District


Barber & Sons Aggregates
ID No. 23-01889
Barber & Sons Tobacco Company
Lee's Summit, Jackson County, Missouri

March 17, 1995


Harold R. Yount
Special Investigator

Michael W. Marler
Mine Safety & Health Inspector

South Central District Office
1100 Commerce Street, Room 4C50
Dallas, Texas 75242-0499
Doyle D. Fink
Acting District Manager


Gerald Reese, truckdriver, age 53, was fatally injured about 11:10 a.m. on March 17, 1995, when he was crushed under the rear portion of an over-the-road haul truck. The truck was backing into position at a stockpile to dump the load because the tail gate had not latched properly. Reese had a total of four years mining experience, all at this mine as an over-the-road truck driver.

The MSHA field office in Rolla, Missouri was notified of the accident by a telephone call at 1:30 p.m., March 17, 1995, from Anthony F. Barber, President of Barber & Sons Tobacco Company. An investigation was begun on March 18, 1995.

The principal operating official was Anthony F. Barber, President. The Barber & Sons Aggregates mine was operated by Barber & Sons Tobacco Company. It was a surface crushed limestone operation, which began operation in 1984. The mine was located about six miles east of Lee's Summit, Jackson County, Missouri. A total of twenty-eight non-union employees normally worked one 11-hour shift a day, 5 days a week.

Conventional drilling and blasting procedures were used to mine the limestone in the quarry. The primary product, crushed limestone, was processed and sold for road base, asphalt, and concrete aggregates. The plant consisted of crushers, screens and belt conveyors. A Caterpillar 988 B front-end loader was used to load customer and company owned, over-the-road haul trucks.

MSHA is prohibited by Congressionally imposed budget restrictions from enforcing the training requirements of 30 CFR, Part 48, Subpart B, at this location.

Information for this report was obtained by interviewing company officials and employees, and conducting an on-site investigation.

The last regular inspection was conducted November 1 through 3, 1994.


The surface area by the �-inch commercial stock pile, where the accident occurred, was level, well maintained and clear of obstruction for about 400 feet. Reese was assigned to drive truck # 30, a 1986 International Paystar. Charles Mizer, truck driver, was assigned to drive truck # 16, which was involved in the accident.

Truck # 16 was a 1985 International F 5070 tri-axle thirty ton end dump truck. The tail gate on truck # 16 was seven feet six inches wide and six feet two inches high. The truck bed was sixteen feet long and had two side boards making the bed seven feet high. Measurements under the rear of the truck were 48� inches between the tires, 10 inch under the differential, 12� inches under the rear brake canister, and 11� inches under the walking beam bushing.

Approximately two square inches of dried dirt and lubricant appeared to be rubbed off the right lower edge of the differential. There was also an indication of rubbing against some grease below the right hinge pin of the dump bed.


Gerald Reese, truckdriver, reported to work at his normal 7 a.m. starting time. Reese hauled six loads of -inch rock to the Jackson County stock pile. He completed this hauling at 10:54 a.m.. Bernadette Dryer, dispatcher, re-assigned Reese to haul �-inch commercial rock to Frost Construction Company.

Reese and Charles Mizer, truck driver, arrived at the �-inch stockpile and backed their trucks up to be loaded. They parked about ten to twelve feet apart. Reese's truck # 30 was parked to the right of Mizer's truck # 16. Both drivers got out of their trucks and walked approximately 40 feet in front of the trucks. They stood, talked, and waited while the frontend loader was completing work at another stockpile.

Jeffrey Jones, loader operator, arrived and loaded Mizer's truck first. After Mizer's truck was loaded, he pulled it forward about 50 feet and to the right of Reese's truck. Mizer got out to check the apron and bed rail for rocks and to tarp his load.

He noticed that the tailgate on the drivers side had not fully latched. He called the loader operator on the radio to tell him he would have to dump his load, relatch the tailgate and then be loaded again. Jones had begun to load Reese's truck when he received this call.

Jones stated that between placement of the second and third buckets into Reese's truck, Reese came from in front of his truck to the drivers side to retrieve something from the cab. Jones waited for Reese to clear the truck before he dumped the third bucket into the truck.

Meanwhile, Mizer checked his mirrors as he was backing into position to dump and did not see Reese. He said the sun was glaring on the windshield of Reese's truck and he thought Reese was in the cab. Mizer's truck was about twelve feet to the right of Reese's truck when the load was dumped. He pulled forward a few feet and lowered the bed down. When Mizer got out of his truck to check the latches, he noticed Reese lying face down directly behind the truck at the edge of the pile, which he had just dumped. Rock was covering the lower part of Reese's body where the tailgate had dragged material off the pile after dumping.

Jones finished dumping the third and final bucket into Reese's truck and was backing up and lowering the loader bucket, when he noticed Mizer waving his hands for help. Mizer and Jones removed the rock off Reese's legs so they could turn him on his back and administer CPR. Mizer contacted Bernadette Dryer, dispatcher, on the radio at approximately 11:10 a.m. and instructed her to call 911 for medical help.

The Prairie Township ambulance arrived in a few minutes and the paramedics assumed CPR functions. A representative of the Medical Examiners office arrived at 11:43 a.m. and pronounced Reese dead.


The primary cause of the accident was that the operator of the truck # 16 backed his vehicle without an audible backup warning device or an observer to signal when it was safe to back up. A contributing factor was the victim leaving the cab of his truck while in the loading area where equipment with restricted view to the rear was operating in a backup mode.


Order Number 4329454, 103(k), issued March 18, 1995, 1000 hours:

This order was issued to restrict access to the accident site to all except persons covered by 104(c) of the Mine Act:

Citation Number 4329455 was issued under the Provision of Section 104(a), for violation of 30 CFR 56.14132(b)(1):

A fatal accident occurred at this operation on March 17, 1995, when a truck driver was run over by another truck (#16). The traffic pattern required backing the trucks at the stock pile area prior to loading. The victim was run over by a backing truck that was not equipped with a reverse-activated signal or back-up alarm. Observers were not provided to signal when it was safe to back up. The truck (# 16) was owned and operated by Barber & Sons Tobacco Company.

Respectively submitted by:

/s/ Harold R. Yount
Special Investigator

/s/ Michael W. Marler
Mine Safety and Health Inspector


Doyle D. Fink
Acting District Manager
Related Fatal Alert Bulletin:

Home Page Button