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Injured Freightliner worker dies

By Josh Bergeron

josh.bergeron@salisburypost.com

CLEVELAND — A Daimler Trucks employee is dead following a July 13 accident at the company’s Freightliner plant in Rowan County.

Ralph “Junior” Butler was reportedly crushed while performing maintenance on a piece of equipment. Butler died as a result of his injuries, Daimler Trucks North America confirmed.

“(Daimler) offers its thoughts, prayers and support to his loved ones, as well as his coworkers,” the company said. “Today we ask that you join the DTNA family in our united support of the Butler family.”

The N.C. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Division has started an investigation into the accident. It could only provide basic, preliminary details about how the accident occurred.

A preliminary report states that Butler was working on a dock leveler located in the plant’s 2300 building. Butler crawled under the piece of equipment, which had reportedly not been locked to prevent it from falling, and it lowered onto his torso, according to the preliminary report.

Immediately after the accident, CPR was performed. He was resuscitated and transported by medical flight service to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem. He had been hospitalized ever since.

The N.C. Department of Labor investigation could take up to six months. Depending on the outcome of an investigation, citations or penalties could be issued.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246

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