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Victim Identified

July 11th, 2013 - By Steve James

A Martin man has been identified as the victim of a tragic excavating accident in Obion County Wednesday. Sheriff Jerry Vastbinder said the body of 63 year old Joe D. Trevathan was located about 1:30 Thursday afternoon in 25 feet of water. He died when the bulldozer he was operating went into a bar pit throwing Mr. Trevathan into the mirky water and sinking, The eighty-thousand pound bulldozer sank several feet deep.


The bar pit is a dirt site for Ford Construction Company a prominent contractor for state, county and municipal projects. Mr. Trevathan had been employed by Ford Construction for twenty eight years and logged approximately 2,000 hours annually on the equipment.


Specially trained divers from Shelby County using sonar were able to locate the body in a crater which was apparently created by the bulldozer when it toppled backwards into the bar pit. Mr. Trevathan’s body was sent to Memphis to determine the exact cause of death.


Sheriff Vastbinder said officials from the Office of Mine, Safety and Health said the submerged bulldozer may be removed or it may be allowed to stay in the pit depending upon the outcome of the autopsy.


Obion County sheriff’s deputies, the Hornbeak Fire Department, Obion County Rescue Squad and the office of emergency management assisted in the recovery along with the Shelby County special dive team.