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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Death of Saline County jail administrator, Goreville miner investigated

  • Saline County Coroner Jerry Doug Watson is investigating two deaths that occurred in Saline County Friday afternoon and early Saturday morning.
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  • Saline County Coroner Jerry Doug Watson is investigating two deaths that occurred in Saline County Friday afternoon and early Saturday morning.
    The first death, is the death of Captain David Underwood, 53, of Harrisburg. Underwood was pronounced dead at the Saline County Detention Center and Law Enforcement Complex in Harrisburg at 3:01 p.m. Friday afternoon. An autopsy was performed Saturday by pathologist Dr. John A. Heidingsfelder in Harrisburg. Preliminary autopsy reports indicate the cause of death to be of natural causes. Underwood was a 27-year employee with the Saline County Sheriff's Office.
    The second death, is the death of Chad Meyers, 30, of Goreville. Meyers was pronounced dead at 4:40 a.m. at Willow Lake Mine. An autopsy was performed Saturday by Heidingsfelder in Harrisburg. Preliminary autopsy reports indicate the cause of death to be from blunt force trauma. Meyers was an employee at Willow Lake Coal Mine.

    Work at the mine has been temporarily halted while authorities investigate a machinery accident that killed a 30-year-old employee this weekend.
    Meyers became pinned by machinery that he was operating, Peabody spokeswoman Meg Gallagher said in a statement.
    Meyers was caught between the machine and the coal rib, according to federal Mine Safety and Health Administration spokeswoman Amy Louviere. Watson said Meyers was pronounced dead at 4:40 a.m. Saturday.
    Gallagher said the work at the underground mine has been idled pending investigation and officials with the state, federal government and union have been contacted.
    The Saline County mine, which is located near Equality, employs about 460 people.
    "Willow Lake deeply mourns the loss of a fellow employee and expresses its sympathies to family members, coworkers, and friends," Gallagher said.
    Funeral services for Meyers were pending.
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