North / South America
No charges planned in Lehigh Northeast Cement Co death
Jun, 01 2012
(GLENS FALLS) -- Police have identified the piece of heavy equipment they believe ran over and killed a cement company worker and know who was operating it, but said there are no plans for charges in the case.
Glens Falls Police Detective Sgt. Peter Casertino said the front-end loader is “being held for safekeeping” and possible forensic
analysis depending on the findings of the investigation.
The vehicle is believed to have hit Michael T. Corbett, 51, of Moreau, on the grounds of Lehigh Northeast Cement Co. in Glens Falls on Monday. He was found unconscious near the plant’s crane bay building around 8:30 p.m. Monday, having suffered massive internal injuries that police believe occurred when he was hit by the loader.
The operator of the vehicle did not stop or report the incident, however.
One employee was operating the loader at the plant during the time in question, police said.
Police have spoken to an expert on the issue who said it was possible that the operator of a large piece of machinery like a front-end loader would not know he hit a person.
There was no indication any criminal charges were warranted as of Thursday, but Casertino said the inquiry was continuing and police were consulting with the Warren County District Attorney’s Office.
The name of the operator has not been released.
The company did not respond to phone calls Tuesday or Wednesday, but released a statement Thursday that was attributed to plant manager Stuart Guinther.
“We are deeply saddened to confirm that our employee, Michael Corbett, was found dead at our Glens Falls plant during the early evening hours on Monday. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Michael’s family and friends.
“As a company that places the highest priority on the safety of our employees, we are committed to working closely with the police and appropriate authorities and cooperating to the fullest extent possible. Since the investigation is ongoing, we cannot offer further comment at this time.”
The Corbett family’s lawyer, Tucker Stanclift, said Thursday that an investigation by a private investigator hired by his firm has not found any indication that Corbett was hit intentionally or that there was malice toward him by the co-worker.
“From everything we’ve learned it seems it was an accident,” he said. “Our main concern is was the operator of the vehicle doing it in a safe manner?”
Corbett had worked at the cement plant for 17 years.
A graveside service for Corbett has been scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday at Evergreen Cemetery in Rutland, Vt. A celebration of his life will follow at Lake Bomoseen State Park in Castleton, Vt.
By: Don Lehman
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