Oil Rig Worker Killed In Bethany Accident
By Charles Bassett, NEWS 9
BETHANY, Oklahoma -- An oil field worker was killed New Year's Day morning in a Bethany industrial accident.
Police say 35-year-old Donnie Vickery of Noble died shortly after 8 a.m. Friday at NW 27th and Rockwell Avenue.
Investigators say workers were trying to change a drill bit on a large pipe when part of the pipe weighing more than a ton broke loose.
"That pipe fell uncontrolled on to one of the building structures that the men stay in, landing on top of an individual and killing him," Lt. Jack Jencks with the Bethany Police Department said.
The pipe came down on a trailer slicing it in half. Police say with the weight of the pipe and the momentum it was like getting hit by a truck. The victim was inside at the time sitting in a chair; an hour earlier, he had met with his workers. Police say the victim actually lived in the trailer several days a week while working.
"Anytime you're dealing with industrial equipment and this type of heavy equipment there's always the potential for injuries," Jencks said.
Another worker had a minor injury to his hand and he was treated at the scene and released.
Police say from what they can tell so far the company hasn't had a problem with safety issues.
"It seems as a tragic accident," said Jencks. "We're making sure to cover all of our basis that there wasn't negligence involved, but initially it seems as if it's just a tragic industrial accident."
Police say Vickery was married and the father of three children.
The rig is operated by a company called Forster Drilling. Attempts to reach them have been unsuccessful.