August 27, 1997 in City

Exploding Tire Kills Bonners Ferry Mill Worker Dump-Truck Wheel Slides From Truck, Slams Into Chest Of Forklift Operator

By The Spokesman-Review

An exploding tire killed a 33-year-old Bonners Ferry man at the Crown Pacific lumber mill on Friday afternoon.

Terry Lynn Davis was unloading a dump-truck wheel and tire from the back of a pickup. It slid from the tailgate, hit the ground and blew up, said Tony Leinweber, company vice president.

The split-rim portion of the wheel slammed Davis in the chest and killed him.

“It’s a real loss, a real tragic accident,” Leinweber said.

Crown Pacific closed its Bonners Ferry mill Tuesday afternoon for the funeral and arranged for workers from other locations to attend. There was standingroom only at Trinity Lutheran Church in Bonners Ferry for the funeral service, Leinweber said.

Davis worked as a forklift operator for Crown Pacific for 15 years. His survivors by his wife, Donna, sons Brian and Scott, his parents, three brothers and a sister.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration had an inspector at the Bonners Ferry plant on Monday. The investigation is far from concluded, said Ryan Kuehmichel of the OSHA office in Boise.

Split-rim wheel accidents are fairly common, Kuehmichel said. OSHA investigates a split-rim wheel fatality about once a year in the state.

In most cases, the accident occurs as a worker in a tire shop is inflating a tire on a split-rim wheel but isn’t using a cage or other device to hold the wheel down, he said.

Crown Pacific does not have a record of other fatalities or serious safety problems with OSHA, Kuehmichel said.

This is the second fatal lumber mill accident in North Idaho in two months. Forty-eight-year-old Denny Triebwasser fell onto a conveyer belt at Idaho Veneer’s Post Falls plant in early August. Triebwasser suffocated after being pulled into the tunnel under the conveyor, according to Post Falls police.

, DataTimes

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