few more details are now known about the accident that killed a Platte County public works department employee last month.
On Friday, county officials received a copy of the accident report by the Missouri State Highway Patrol. On Monday, the county released the report for public informational purposes. The release came in the way of an email sent by Bob Shaw, county counselor, to the news media.
The accident occurred on April 11 near the intersection of 77th Street and John Anders Road in southern Platte County near Weatherby Lake.
Justin R. Hartman, 30, of Dearborn, died when an unoccupied county public works truck–a Ford F-350 utility truck–rolled down a hill and struck him, forcing him into an unoccupied grader at the scene. Workers at the scene were trimming trees and disposing of the limbs.
The highway patrol’s accident report includes statements from four witnesses. Those witnesses were Joshua Cook of Weston, Don Schlomer of Platte City, Brandon Cook of Farley and Luke Wagner of Platte City.
According to the report, Schlomer told authorities he had “moved the truck and parked in front of the dump truck. I left the truck in first gear and shut it off and got out. I threw my trash in the chipper. I turned around and saw the truck coming down the hill. I saw it hit and saw somebody down when it hit the Gradall.”
Cook said: “I was dragging a lot to the chipper when I saw the service truck start to roll with nobody in it. I turned around and (saw) guys down there. I started running and screaming towards them to try and warn them. Justin turned and looked at me and tried to get out of the way, but just couldn’t.”
According to the highway patrol’s narrative description, the pickup was stopped in the roadway facing westbound on 77th Street. The grader was parked on the right side of 77th Street, facing westbound. “The pickup was left in gear with the emergency brake not engaged.”
The pickup was equipped with a manual transmission, authorities said.
Hartman, according to the report, was working on recently cut limbs, behind the Gradall and downhill from the pickup. The left front of the pickup struck Hartman and he and the pickup struck the attached boom of the Gradall.
“It was reported that (the pickup) ran over the legs of (Hartman) and a large tree limb before striking the Gradall a second time. Other workers immediately called for emergency services,” the highway patrol’s narrative states.
On the scene, a paramedic with the Kansas City Fire Department indicated there was no sign of life for Hartman.
The incident was reported with an emergency call at 1:08 p.m. The paramedic reported no signs of life from Hartman at 1:21 p.m.
Cook told authorities: “I was on the right-back side of the dump truck’s chipper area. I picked up a branch to insert into the chipper. As I turned to insert it, I saw our service truck coming down the hill. as I turned my head, I (saw) it struck Justin. The driver’s side front tire ran him over and shoved him into the Gradall machine. I immediately called 911 and was on the phone approximately five minutes. I went back to help Josh and Justin.”
Wagner, the fourth witness gave this statement to authorities: “I had put a limb through the chipper and I was coming back to grab another one. The service truck came down the hill. The truck hit one of the limbs and then hit Justin. Justin rolled and it looked like the tires ran over his knees.”
The incident report does not indicate any citations of any type were issued.
Platte County Commissioner Jason Brown told The Landmark the county sent the report to the news media “to be as transparent as possible,” and to let the public know as many details about the accident as possible.