Man dies in accident at Chapman Forest

Published 3:04 pm Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Covington County man died in an industrial accident at Chapman Forest Products on Monday.

Billy Halford, 59, of Red Level was killed after being struck by a moving piece of machinery, according to Butler County Coroner Wayne Garlock. Emergency services responded to the incident at approximately 2:37 p.m.

“He was hit with a type of front-end loader that they use to carry the wood around,” said Garlock. “From what we understand, this gentleman was working near some machinery and talking to another gentleman and he was accidentally run over.”

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Garlock said the accident is still under investigation. He said company officials contacted OSHA and Craig Payne, President of Chapman Forest Products, confirmed on Tuesday that investigators with OSHA were on-site.

Garlock said he pronounced Halford dead on the scene.

Butler County Sheriff Kenny Harden said initial indications are there was no foul play involved.

“It’s just real sad and real unfortunate,” said Harden.

Harden said it was his understanding that Halford had been employed as a mechanic at the plant for nearly three decades.

Payne said Halford started with the company when it was Union Camp. International Paper Corporation acquired the plant in 1998.

“We want everyone to be in prayer for Mr. Halford’s family,” said Payne.

Payne said no other information would be available at this time while the matter is still under investigation.

Chapman Forest Products is a manufacturer of Southern Yellow Pine lumber and plywood products and is one of Butler County’s largest employers. The mill in Chapman was purchased in January 2008 from International Paper Corporation.