Maryland State investigators looking into quarry death

Officials from Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Agency and the Frederick County Bureau of Investigations are investigating the death of a man Friday at the S. W. Barrick & Sons quarry in Keymar, said Capt. Tim Clarke of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.

John P. Gaither, 35, of Woodsboro was killed after being trapped in a piece of machinery at the quarry that processes limestone.

Clarke said investigators from FCBI worked with MOSHA to determine whether the death, which took place at around 7:40 p.m., was accidental. Investigators are now trying to determine how the accident happened.

“We don’t know what happened, but obviously it looked like an accident,” Clarke said.

Clarke said he also expects federal mine safety officials to get involved in the investigation.

Gaither, a 1994 graduate of Linganore High School, was the son of Gary L. and Carolyn Wolfe Gaither of Unionville. He leaves behind his wife of nine years, Mary Fogle Gaither, as well as son Anthony and daughter Joanne.

He is also survived by his sister Candice Reaver of Libertytown and her husband J.R. and son Hunter, paternal grandmother Louise Martin Gaither of Unionville, and maternal grandfather Paul L. Wolfe of Walkersville.

Gaither was a member of Linganore United Methodist Church in Unionville, and he had been a volunteer with the Libertytown Volunteer Fire Co., where he worked with the fire police. He enjoyed working on cars and spending time with his children.

The family will receive friends at Hartzler Funeral Home at 11802 Liberty Road in Libertytown from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. today. A funeral service will be held at the funeral home at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. Gaither will be buried at Linganore Cemetery in Unionville.

Gaither’s death is the 69th fatality in the U.S. mining industry in 2010. The quarry had a nonfatal days lost rate above the national average in 2008 and 2009, and has paid $2,561 in Mine Safety and Health Administration penalties so far this year.


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