UPDATE: News 12 at 6 o' clock/ Jan. 21, 2015
AUGUSTA, Ga.--He was a proud father of two and grandfather of five who worked maintenance for decades. But this past weekend, Avery Zorn never clocked out from his job, and never made it home to see his family.
He was killed after an accident at Macuch Steel Productions in Augusta January 10th.
It's the second local worker death in just six days. Last weekend, another man was crushed by a trailer in Columbia County. OSHA is now investigating both cases.
After work, friends say you could always find Avery Zorn at Anthony's Restaurant in his hometown of Barnwell.
Dana Mathias and her brother Brian run Anthony's, and they became good friends with Avery over the years.
"Avery has been coming in here forever. He and his kids. We really watched his kids grow up in here, and now he has grandkids, so we started watching them grow up too," said Mathias.
But, he won't be coming back to his favorite restaurant. Zorn died after a piece of equipment ran into the scissor lift he was operating at Macuch Steel, knocking the whole thing and Avery more than 20 feet to the ground.
"I was devastated. Just 40 days prior to that we lost our dad. Then to lose Avery, it was almost like losing my dad all over again," said Brian.
Friends say Avery always had a smile on his face. He was a maintenance manager who could fix anything.
"If it was broke, Avery could fix it," said Dana. "You mentioned something is wrong, he'd be asking what can I do to help."
That's something Obie Williams can attest to. He worked with Zorn for 15 years at a plant in Blackville. They shared a love for motorcycles and became good friends, so the news, hit him hard.
"It brought tears to my eyes," he said.
Obie still has questions about how the accident happened since he watched Zorn work with scissor lifts for years.
"We had to put harnesses on and make sure it was tied off to equipment," he explained. "He was pretty strict about that type of safety work."
While OSHA works to sort out how it all happened, friends say, they'll miss his smile, and the little things that made him 'Avery.'
"One of his little quirks was straightening the chairs over at the bar...When he came in or when he left, he made sure all the chairs were straight," said Dana.
Now, it'll be up to someone else to straighten the chairs as family and friends work to fill the void.
Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015
AUGUSTA, Ga (WRDW) -- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been called in to investigate the death of a Barnwell man who died after a workplace accident.
The coroner says Ralph Avery Zorn, 59, was injured after an accident at Macuch Steel Products on January 15th. He died the next day.
Officials say Zorn was 20-30 feet off the ground on an aerial platform installing light fixtures. Another piece of equipment hit the platform and Zorn fell.
He was transported to GRMC where he died. An autopsy was done January 17th but the coroner doesn’t have results back yet.
Macuch Steel Products released a statement saying they are saddened to announce the death of Zorn. The company says Zorn joined Macuch Steel Products in July and quickly became a valued and respected employee.
OSHA is investigating the incident.