united states mine rescue association Mine Disasters in the United States
El Paso Sand Products El Paso Quarry Powered Haulage Accident
El Paso, Texas
February 15, 1975
No. Killed - 3
Three Killed in El Paso Mountain Quarry
El Paso Herald-Post
February 2, 1975
El Paso, Texas -- Three men were killed just before noon today when a large diesel sand loader rolled on them at the El Paso Sand Products quarry at the mouth of McKelligon Canyon.
Patrolman Mickey Wilhite said the men, a driver and two passengers, were on a diesel front end loader which weighs several tons.
One of the El Pasoans killed when a sand loader toppled over in McKelligon Canyon was identified as Andres Escobido. The other two victims were tentatively identified as Valente Sosa and Reynidad Reyes, both of Juarez.
They were coming down a steep road when the brakes apparently gave way, he said. The driver tried to slow the huge machine by putting it in gear, but the transmission broke and as the loader rounded a curve, it toppled over, pinning the three men under it. The sand loader does not have a cab.
Wilhite said it appeared the men tried to jump. He talked to witnesses who saw the accident, but none of them was close enough to give many details. He said the bodies could be seen and verified that the men were dead. One is from El Paso and two from Juarez, he said.
The El Paso Wrecker Service was called to lift the loader off the bodies, but crews did not have equipment heavy enough to do the job. A crane, leased by El Paso Sand Products Co. was obtained but there was a delay in locating an operator.
The loader was carrying a large heavy air compressor, it was learned. The accident occurred approximately a quarter of a mile from the Sand Products' office, which is located about 100 yards from the quarry. Police kept everyone away from the scene of the accident. Firemen stood by in case the diesel fuel from the loader broke into flames.
Workers, newsmen and a scattering of onlookers stood around the office discussing the accident in subdued tones.