Family Remembers Man Killed in Bethany Oil Rig Accident
By Jon Jordan, NEWS 9
BETHANY, Oklahoma – The family of a man killed in an oil rig accident in Bethany is speaking about their loved one.
The last few days have been especially hard on the family as they try to come to terms with losing Donnie Vickery. Fortunately the family has been able to rely on a big support group to help try and get them through it.
"He was such a devoted husband and father and him to be gone so sudden, it's just unbearable," said Vickery's aunt, Donna Tibbs.
Donna Tibbs can't help but get emotional when talking about her nephew Donnie Vickery.
Vickery, 35, was working New Year's Day on an oil rig in Bethany when a more than one ton drill bit came crashing down on top of him. Investigators say his co-workers were in the middle of changing a drill bit on one of the pipes when part of that pipe broke loose and crashed down on a trailer below where Vickery was resting.
Vickery's aunt said he died doing what he loved. Donna said her nephew spent most of his adult-life working on oil rigs. In fact, she said when oil and gas companies first began struggling Donnie Vickery found himself without a job, so when he landed the job in Bethany she said it was like he was getting a piece of his life back.
"It makes it more shocking for them. It's unexpected," said Amanda Darr.
Amanda Darr is a longtime family friend who has been helping Vickery's wife Mandy and there three kids all under the age of 14 cope.
"There's a lot of us that have sat in there and told stories to make her laugh. Going through it alone makes it harder but she's not alone," Darr said.
The hardest part family said is no matter how much time goes by or pain goes away their family won't ever be the same.
"We did everything together as a family and now part of that is gone that can never be gotten back," Donnie's aunt said.
Although Bethany police believe this was an accident OSHA and the Department of Labor are investigating just what went wrong.
Family members have set up a fund in Donnie Vickery's name to help cover funeral costs. You can make a donation at any First Fidelity Bank.
More on News9.com: Oil Rig Worker Killed In Bethany Accident