Natchez man killed in accident

Published 10:18 am Friday, June 15, 2007

NATCHEZ — A Natchez man died Thursday morning after being crushed under mechanical equipment, authorities said.

Frank McKnight, 36, 11 Ellis Lane, was working on property owned by Jimmy T. Lee on Kaiser Lake Road.

McKnight was using the vehicle, which laid out cables, when the machine tipped into a hole, Adams County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Ricky Stevens said.

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“From the appearance, it looked like he tried jumping out and got pinned underneath it,” Stevens said.

The machine, which weighed about 14 tons, crushed his chest but left his head and arms free, Stevens said.

McKnight had worked for Lee’s logging company for years, Stevens said.

When ambulance personnel arrived on the scene, they could not find vital signs, he said. After that, Adams County Coroner James Lee was called to the scene.

“The cause of death was severe internal hemorrhage,” Lee said. “That piece of equipment came down on him, and he just bled internally. It was tragic. I hate these things. It’s a tragedy for the whole community when stuff like this happens.”

Because McKnight died while on the job, the Mississippi State Crime Lab will perform an autopsy, Lee said.

McKnight worked for Jimmy T. Lee for 16 or 17 years, McKnight’s fiancée Patricia Anderson said Thursday.

“I would have been with Frank for four years in August,” Anderson said. “He was a hard-working man. He loved his family.”

A graduate of South Natchez High School in 1989, McKnight had two children, ages 7 and 16.

Funeral arrangements for McKnight are incomplete, Anderson said.

Accidents like this are fortunately a rare occurance, Investigator Stevens said.

“We have accidents, especially during the summer, but it’s a rare occasion when we have a fatality,” Stevens said.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate the situation as is routine when an on-the-job accident occurs, Lee said.