Union County Coal Miner Dies in Saturday Morning Accident

A Union County man was killed in a workplace accident that happened on Saturday morning at the River View mine.

Posted: Dec 4, 2021 11:21 AM
Updated: Dec 6, 2021 8:52 AM

A Sturgis, Kentucky man died in a Saturday morning workplace accident at a coal mine in Union County.

48-year-old Lester Daugherty Jr. died in the accident at River View, which is a 16,000-foot-deep underground coal mine in Union County, according to Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear's office.

Daugherty Jr. began his shift at 11:00 p.m. on Friday and suffered his critical injuries while performing maintenance early Saturday at 1:00 a.m., according to Ken Ford, general manager of River View Mine.

"Daugherty and a fellow River View Mine employee were performing maintenance work on a piece of mining equipment underground when an unexpected movement of the equipment resulted in fatal injuries to Mr. Daughtery," Ford said.

The state Division of Mine Safety sent investigators to the mine Saturday. Mining operations were shut down during the site inspection and the mine was closed for the investigation.

Daugherty Jr. came from a long family line of miners and had 16 years of experience.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Daugherty family," Ford said. "River View Coal asks that you join us in extending support to Mr. Daugherty's family and his fellow miners during this extremely difficult time."

“We are deeply saddened today to learn of the passing of Mr. Daugherty Jr.,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “We join everyone across Kentucky who offer their prayers and support for his family, friends and community as they mourn his untimely loss.”

“My deepest sympathies go out to the Daugherty family,” Kentucky Energy and Environment Secretary Rebecca Goodman said. “We are investigating this accident and will to do everything that we can to understand how this happened and prevent such future loss of life among miners.”

The governor's office says the Division of Mine Safety last inspected the mine on Oct. 18, 2021.

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