Initially a set of wheels was to be placed on a conveyor to transport it from the mine. The front-end loader in question was used to lift the conveyor when its loader bucket suddenly dropped, allowing the conveyor frame to strike a tire assemblies; it then shifted, striking the victim.

The incident represented 2011’s 15th reported fatality in the metal and nonmetal mining industries, according to Department of Labor officials. It was also the fourth powered haulage fatality that year; 2010 witnessed six such fatalities in the same period.