Kentucky mine fatality report

ROUSSEAU, Ky. (AP) – A miner was killed in an accident on a mountaintop coal mine in eastern Kentucky after a supervisor knowingly allowed him to drive a truck with faulty brakes, according to a report released by federal investigators.

Steven T. Bryant, 23, of Louisa, who had less than year’s worth of experience, lost control of the water truck while descending a steep mine access road on May 23, according to the recently released report by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration. Bryant worked at the Miller Brothers Coal, Risner Branch No. 1 Mine in Breathitt County. He died at the scene.

The brakes on the truck were defective and Bryant, who normally operated a rock truck, was not trained to operate a water truck, the report said.

The report also says that the mine superintendent, David C. Peters, was notified of the brake failure on at least two separate occasions before the accident.

Peters could not be reached for comment on Monday. He told the Courier-Journal for a story Monday, “I’m not interested in talkin’ about that,” when asked about the incident.

MSHA can pursue civil penalties against individuals for willfully violating health and safety standards. The state is reviewing the case for possible fines, in addition to possible suspension or revocation of the company’s mining license and any culpable official’s mining certificates.