Kentucky man killed by mining machine

A continuous mining machine operator died when the machine pinned him against the wall of a Perry County coal mine Thursday, state officials said.

It was unclear how the accident happened, and interviews with co-workers of Bobby L. Smith, 29, of Vicco were being conducted Friday, said Dick Brown, spokesman for the state Energy and Environment Cabinet, which oversees the Office of Mine Safety and Licensing.

The Leeco 68 mine where Smith worked in Jeff is owned by James River Coal of Richmond, Va. Smith had 12 years’ experience, according to a preliminary report from the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. No one else was hurt in the accident at 1:15 p.m. Thursday.

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Mr. Smith was born Oct. 24, 1980, in Dayton, Ohio. He is survived by his wife, Amanda Caudill Smith; a son, Dustin J. Smith of Harlan; daughters Alexis Smith and Kaylee Sumner of Sassafras; grandparents Hillard and Patricia Caudill Smith; parents, Bobby and Cathy Predmore Smith; brother, Brad Smith, and sister, Ashley Throckmorton, all of Hazard.

The funeral, arranged by Engle-Walker Funeral Home, will be 2 p.m. Sunday at Lotts Creek United Baptist Church. Visitation will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday at the church.


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