A Sturgis man died after an accident at an underground coal mine in Western Kentucky early Saturday.
Lester Daugherty Jr., 48, was working overnight at the River View mine in Waverly in Union County when he was critically injured while “performing maintenance on a continuous miner,” the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet said in a news release.
Daugherty was a mechanic with 16 years’ experience.
The Kentucky Division of Mine Safety last inspected the 16,000-foot-deep mine Oct. 18, according to the news release.
Daugherty had begun his shift at the mine at 11 p.m. Friday, the state said. After the accident early Saturday, investigators with the state Division of Mine Safety were sent to the mine, and operations at the site were to remain shut down Saturday.
It was Kentucky’s first mining fatality this year.
Kentucky Energy and Environment Secretary Rebecca Goodman said the state “will to do everything that we can to understand how this happened and prevent such future loss of life among miners.”
“We are deeply saddened today to learn of the passing of Mr. Daugherty Jr.,” Gov. Andy Beshear said in the release. “We join everyone across Kentucky who offer their prayers and support for his family, friends and community as they mourn his untimely loss.”