(SHELBY) – 20-YEAR OLD COBY EPPERSON OF SUNBURST HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED

AS THE FATAL VICTIM OF AN OIL RIG ACCIDENT ON A RIG JUST NORTH OF KEVIN.

TOOLE COUNTY CORONER DAN WHITTED SAID THAT EPPERSON AND ANOTHER CREW MEMBER WERE USING A WHEEL WRENCH ON A WELL HEAD WHEN A PIECE OF THE WRENCH BROKE OFF, STRIKING EPPERSON IN THE CHEST.     WHITTED SAID THE CAUSE OF DEATH WAS BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA TO THE CHEST.

EPPERSON WAS EMPLOYED BY SOMONT OIL COMPANY AND JEFF FUNKE OF THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION SAYS SOMONT COMPLIED WITH REGULATIONS BY NOTIFYING OSHA WITHIN 8 HOURS OF THE ACCIDENT.

FUNKE ALSO SAID THAT A COMPLIANCE OFFICER WAS ENROUTE TO THE SCENE TO CONDUCT AN INVESTIGATION.