Accident causes death in Maybell
April 26, 2001
When a conveyer belt in a Maybell gravel pit collapsed Wednesday, it took the life of a 39-year old worker Wednesday.
According to Chuck Warner, chief investigator for the Moffat County Sheriff’s Department, Nester Ralph Tafoya, of Del Norte, Colo., was operating a small front loader in the gravel pit when he struck a leg of a 30-foot conveyer belt. Tafoya brought co-workers and a larger front loader to lift the conveyer belt back into position. He was in front of the front loader as was used to lift the conveyer belt back into position. The chain slipped, and the conveyer belt struck Tafoya on the head, shoulder and chest.
An ambulance was called, but Tafoya went into respiratory and cardiac arrest and died before arriving at the hospital.
The cause of death was multiple internal injuries due to a crushed chest, said Bruce Zobel, Moffat County Coroner. The gravel pit was owned by Hertzog Trucking Inc., which had been leasing it to another company.