Greene man falls into mechanical drum

Man falls into machinery for second time

March 18, 2014

CARMICHAELS – A Garards Fort man was is in fair condition at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, W.Va., following an accident that took place Tuesday around 5:15 a.m. at the Greene Team Pellet Fuel Co. on Carmichaels Road in Cumberland Township.

Jeremy Frye, 24, was freeing ice buildup that was impeding the movement of a wheel inside a drum-like piece of machinery when he fell inside the drum, according to Carmichaels Cumberland First Assistant Fire Chief Mike Riggen. Riggen, who assisted at the scene, said the wheel was turning and hitting Frye in the face and legs causing severe cuts and contusions.

“They (workers) were able to get to him within five or six minutes,” Riggen said. “He was bruised and bloodied. Luckily, he was found.”

Riggen said sawdust inside the machine was gathering around Frye and could have become a more serious issue if he had not been freed. EMS Southwest Ambulance Service assisted at the scene until Frye was flown from the parking lot of his workplace to Ruby Memorial Hospital.

On Oct. 23, 2010, Frye suffered a similar fate while cleaning sawdust from a machine manufactured by the Onix Corp. of Montpelier, Ohio. Greene Team Pellet Fuel Co. produces hardwood fuel pellets from sawdust. The piece of equipment from Onix was part of that process.

Frye filed a product liability lawsuit Oct. 10, 2012, against Onix Corp. for failure to provide a safe method of cleaning out accumulated sawdust in its machinery. The suit contended Frye had sustained “substantial” injuries to his right leg and foot while trying to clean it as well as financial losses from his injuries.

A settlement was filed May 16, 2013, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in favor of Frye in the amount of $100,000. On Sept. 11, 2013, the court granted a motion to enforce the settlement agreement when Onix failed to make scheduled restitution installment payments per its agreement with Frye.

Tara Kinsell started her career in journalism with the National Geographic Insider Magazine and the Gaithersburg Gazette Newspaper in Montgomery County, Md. Tara has written and photographed sports, features and news stories for the Herald Standard, Greene County Messenger and Albert Gallatin Weekly. She holds degrees in journalism and graphic design from Waynesburg College, now Waynesburg University, and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, respectively.

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