Mechanic’s death prompts investigation

Department of Labor and Thomasville police investigate
Mar. 20, 2013 @ 07:21 PM


The Department of Labor says the investigation into the death of a mechanic, pinned under a tractor trailer at a Thomasville trucking company, may take three to four months.
According to a Thomasville Police Department press release, JRJ Trucking LLC employee Paul Peterson, 22, of Deer Creek Lane in Lexington, died from injuries he sustained when a 2004 Freightliner tractor fell off one of the jacks as he was underneath doing repairs. Emergency personnel responded to 435 Commercial Park Drive at 5:51 p.m. Monday.  Peterson was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Peterson was working on the truck when it fell off one of the jacks,” Detective Brad Saintsing said. “We’ll document the scene, take photographs and interview any witnesses. There were two people there when it occurred and they’re taking it pretty hard. It was a pretty traumatic incident for them.”
As with the case in all work-related fatalities or the hospitalization of three or more employees, the Department of Labor is investigating to determine if any violations of the state occupational safety and wellness standards occurred. Dolores Quesenberry, a DOL spokesperson, said the investigation will focus on the events leading up to the accident such as employee training and any equipment involved.
“There are certain things we’ll be looking for,” said Quesenberry. “One of the things that is routine in an investigation like this is to look at the training records of the employee. If there are witnesses, the inspectors will want to sit down and speak with them as well.”
If any violations are found, JRJ Trucking could be issued a citation. TPD also is investigating the death.

Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578, or