Fatal flaws: How Kentucky fails its workers
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Fatal flaws: How Kentucky fails its workers

Eleanor Klibanoff |
November 13, 2018

Lisa Hobbs holds a photo of her and her husband dancing together. Her husband, Gene Hobbs, was run over by a coworker on a construction site in December 2016.


This story is part of a collaboration between the Center for Public Integrity, Ohio Valley ReSource and the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.

While most of the Meade County public works crew finished their lunches, Pius “Gene” Hobbs was raking along the edge of the road, oblivious to the dump truck backing quickly towards him.

Unbeknownst to the driver, Hobbs was knocked to the ground and crushed under the truck’s weight. When the truck accelerated forward, Hobbs’ coworker ran him over a second time. He was killed on impact.

The only eyewitness to the December 2016 incident, a bystander named Greg Turner, said that he didn’t hear a backup beeper on the truck as it reversed. Maybe Hobbs hadn’t either.

At the scene, state police concurred: they couldn’t hear the backup beeper. Later that day, after the employees had gone home and the Vine Grove street was quiet, Kentucky’s occupational safety inspector showed up.

He conducted his own test.

Credit by - the Center for Public Integrity

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