Nearly 1,000 people attended Barry’s funeral. The well-known and respected husband and father had been killed in a mining accident when a 140-ton haul truck was driven over the top of the pickup in which Barry was parked. An MSHA investigation concluded that Barry must have driven in front of the haul truck, blaming him for his own agonizing death.
Barry’s widow hired a lawyer from Barker Law Firm, LLC to seek the truth about how her husband died. In the lawsuit, Barry’s widow learned that the haul truck driver, Barry’s foreman, had radioed Barry moments before his death and told him to stop so Barry could relieve the foreman for lunch. The foreman parked the pickup in a “blind spot” for the haul truck driver but left the pickup running with the parking brake engaged. Barry’s widow also learned that this foreman had numerous safety violations and had even run over his own pickup on the job. Another employee had kept a diary about the foreman and told others he was sure the foreman would cause serious injury or death to one of the employees someday. That prophetic statement became true.
Barry’s widow’s lawyer hired an engineering team to analyze the accident scene and the haul truck and the pickup. A critical piece of evidence was found in the crushed pickup. Barry’s foreman had testified that the parking brake was engaged when he turned the pickup over to Barry but the investigation revealed that the handle to the parking brake had been broken and to disengage it an unsuspecting driver would have had to grab the brake release rod with both hands while bent over. The engineering analysis also revealed that the parking brake was fully engaged at the moment the haul truck ran over the pickup cab with Barry in it. This evidence conclusively proved that Barry was preoccupied with releasing the brake when his own foreman, the man who had parked the pickup, ran over the top of him. Barry’s widow proved that he had not driven in front of the haul truck and that his death was caused by his employer.