Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 50° Cloudy
News >  Idaho

Name of worker killed at North Idaho mill last week released

UPDATED: Mon., Sept. 18, 2017

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office has released the name of the worker who died in an industrial accident last week at a North Idaho mill.

Robert J. Billingsley, 45, was fatally injured while clearing a broken piece of wood from a machine at Merritt Brothers Lumber Co. in Athol, according to the sheriff’s office. The accident occurred about 6 a.m. Friday.

Billingsley was pronounced dead at Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene. He was a resident of Plummer, Idaho.

An autopsy has been ordered by the Kootenai County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The accident is also under investigation by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which may take up to six months to finish its review.

“Our thoughts go out to the family and the entire small community that is affected when something like this occurs,” said David Kearns, OSHA’s area director in Boise.

In early August, a fire burned a planer facility operated by Vaagen Brothers Lumber Inc. on the same mill site.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.