Construction worker killed under bridge

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 27, 2003

A bridge worker was killed Friday morning while working on a railroad bridge near the Naheola bridge. A contracted crew was working on a wooden bridge on the Meridian and Bigbee Railroad on the Billy McAlpine property off Highway 114 near the old Naheola bridge.

An ambulance from Choctaw County EMS in Pennington drove across the old bridge to reach the scene. The old bridge right out of Myrtlewood and across the Tombigbee River from Pennington has been closed to traffic while construction continues on a new Naheola bridge, which is expected to be completed in spring 2004.

From his rail car, a supervisor with the Meridian and Bigbee Railroad was visibly shaken by the accident.

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However, the "bent" device fell, he said.

The worker’s upper chest was crushed, the supervisor said.

Marengo County Deputy Lee Lawrence arrived on the scene at approximately 9:37 a.m.

He was investigating the accident and also serving as coroner because county coroner Stuart Eatmon was out-of-town. The worker was pronounced dead at approximately 9:45.

The identity of the deceased was not known at press time.

The fellow workers of the bridge crew waited with the body then helped carry the body out from under the bridge to a gurney near the ambulance. Lawrence questioned two of the workers before the body was moved.

One of the fellow workers paused for a moment to touch the foot of his deceased friend laying on the gurney before it was loaded into the ambulance.

The ambulance was expected to travel back over the old Naheola bridge.

The Meridian and Bibigbee Railroad track runs 51 miles from Meridian, Mississippi to Myrtlewood, Alabama.

The accident is being investigated by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Strange said.