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Man Dies after Shovel Tractor Falls into Mill Creek


Location: Seven Miles up the Mill Creek Mainline near Sheridan
Name: Dan Fults

According to local news reports, an Albany man was killed when the shovel tractor he was driving fell from a small bridge into Mill Creek near Sheridan.

Dan Fults, age 44, worked as a loader operator at Rice Logging in Sweet Home. He attempted to cross a bridge with the tractor on Weyerhaeuser property when it fell over into the creek. Emergency crews responded at 4:30am and Fults was pronounced dead at the scene. No one else was injured in the Oregon vehicle accident.

Police said that it was not clear what caused the tractor to leave the bridge. Representatives from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated the scene.

Sgt. Mark Garton of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said that the bridge did not give way. He said that wood planks on top of the bridge were broken off during the accident, but metal bars under the bridge were still in place. About the cause of the accident, Garton said “We may never know.”

Jeannette Hoover, a Rice family member and one of the company’s owners, said of Fults, “He was a great employee and very hard working. We’re deeply saddened at this loss and our hearts and prayers go out to his wife.”

Hoover said that logging accidents are not common, but danger is always present. She said the company tries to be proactive and that they have frequent safety meetings and meetings before every job.

We also send our sincere condolences to Dan Fults’ wife and family. To lose someone in a tragic accident like this is heartbreaking.

There are obviously still questions about what happened in this accident. What caused the tractor to fall into the creek? Who is at fault? Is anyone? How will Fults’ family go forward without his support? How much will insurance pay? To answer these questions, it may take some time, but a knowledgeable attorney can help investigate the accident and file any reports needed. If you need questions answered, like how to find a good Portland personal injury lawyer, choosing the right law firm for you, or rules to know when looking for an attorney, please don’t hesitate to call, (503) 222-4411. We can answer some very important questions up front, for free.