McDuffie County man killed in construction accident (WRDW-TV, August 30, 2012)
News 12 First at Five / Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012
THOMSON, Ga. -- A McDuffie County coroner says autopsy results are in and they reveal a local welder died of multiple blunt chest injuries.
Edward Chambers was on the job in Thomson when a piece of machinery he uses every day fell on him.
The 61-year-old had just been back on the job for less than a month after being laid off when work got slow.
When Garnet Stewart thinks of her friend, she describes him as, "Just a good, good friend."
She will tell you, "He'd do anything for anybody."
So, when she turned on the news Thursday, "When they said Edward Chambers, I couldn't believe it. I said, 'Oh no, I've lost my good friend.'"
On Wednesday night, her good friend of 16 years was at Two State in Thomson working with an overhead crane when a hoist fell.
McDuffie County Coroner Sammy Purvis told News 12, "Representatives from Two State told me it weighed between 500 to 600 pounds."
We found something like it at Cook's Machine Shop in Augusta.
"He was moving it along the track that it was mounted to, got to the end of it, hit the stop bar and for some reason it fell off and fell on him," Purvis said.
You move it with a remote and it was a piece of machinery Chambers would use about every day.
"The best description is something the size of a car motor that lifts heavy pieces of steel," Purvis said.
The coroner says he had broken bones and injuries to his chest and head.
How or why the hoist landed on him is unclear.
"I mean, his daughter needs some answers. A thorough investigation of what happened, of what went down," Stewart said.
Answers that could take months OSHA works this accident.
For Stewart, one thing Chambers would always say to her has stuck.
"When he'd get ready to leave, he'd say, 'Well Garnet, if you need me call me, if don't need me, call me anyway.'"
Now, she wishes she could have been there perhaps when he needed his good friend the most.
Chambers' wife passed away several years back so he was a single dad.
His children are older, a daughter and two sons. Those sons live in Texas and they are driving, perhaps through Tropical Storm Isaac, to come help plan his funeral.
Two State would not go on camera, but we saw OSHA was on site.
Two State's president told News 12 they stopped operation Thursday at the fabrication shop just out of respect. He says they, too, are like family.
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