Funeral services will be held today (Wednesday) in Harlan for a 23-year-old mine electrician/ repairman who died early Friday morning in an underground mining accident in the Letcher County community of Partridge, located near the Harlan County line.
Richard Coots Jr., 23, of Evarts in Harlan County, died after being pinned under equipment used to transport coal from the mine face, according to the Kentucky Office of Mine Safety and Licensing (OMSL).
The accident occurred around 2 a.m. Oct. 7 at Owlco Energy LLC’s Mine No. 1 when Coots was under the mobile bridge unit repairing a broken conveyor chain. A mobile bridge is part of a continuous haulage conveyor system that helps move coal from a continuous miner at the mine face to a nearby beltline for transport outside the mine.
The mine, is located at Maggard Branch near Partridge and was licensed five years ago. Owlco Energy is headquartered in Middlesboro.
The death was the fourth mining related fatality in Kentucky in
Coots had worked about six weeks at the mine and had been a coal miner for five years.
Funeral services were scheduled for 3 p.m. today at Mount Pleasant Funeral Home in Harlan.
Coots was preceded in death by his grandparents, Nick and Fannie Williams, and a brother, Justin Coots.
He is survived by his wife, Kayla Coots; two children, Jaidyn and Madison Coots; mother and stepfather, Elizabeth and Lewis Blevins of Evarts; father, Richard Coots of Evarts; brother, Jeromy Coots and wife Barbara of Evarts; niece, Jazzlyn Coots; stepbrother, Michael Blevins of Dartmont; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Joseph and Angela Shuler of Brittains Creek; sister-in-law, April Shuler of Brittians Creek; brother-in-law, Jody Shuler of Brittains Creek, and friends, Mark Sizemore, Bobby King and Lewis Blevins.