Bridge Worker's Cause of Death is Revealed

The death of a Henley Bridge worker this week was caused after a trackhoe operator's jacket struck a lever causing a boom to lower and strike the 33-year-old man in the head, according to a Knoxville Police Department report.

The worker, John Womac, of Athens, Tenn., was attempting to secure one 50-pound propane canister and one 500-pound liquid oxygen canister when he was struck in the head. Womac was placing a harness around the canisters so a trackhoe could lower a boom and move the items.

Trackhoe operator Edermias Belsabi Gomez Berduo's jacket struck a lever which caused the boom to lower, striking Womac in the head, the report said.

Berduo told police that he bent down and when he did, that's when his jacket struck the joystick and the boom lowered rapidly striking Womac. Womac was wearing a yellow hard hat. He was rushed to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.

Initial reports stated Womac had been hit in the head with a utility bucket. Others at the site indicated the worker was struck in the head with the arm of a trackhoe that was dismantling the concrete bridge.