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August 6, 2008

McGriff tire death

VINEMONT — By Trent Moore

trentm@cullmantimes.com



Long time McGriff Tire Company employee and Vinemont resident Dennis Wayne Wood, 51, died tragically July 29 after allegedly being struck by a falling tire while on the job at the McGriff Tire location in Good Hope.

Wood was transported to Woodland Medical Center where he later died.

Cullman County Coroner Gary Murphree said he has yet to be officially notified about the death.

“Normally I’m notified of any death not natural in cause, no matter what, but I was never called,” he said. “Once the body went to the hospital (Woodland) and was released to the funeral home (Hanceville Funeral Home) — that was the first I knew about it, and the hospital never called ... Now, it’s a little late to back up and do an investigation.”

An administrator at Woodland Medical Center was contacted regarding Wood’s death, but more information was unavailable by press time.

Murphree said with the matter now passed, he is expecting to eventually get word from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), a division of the Alabama Department of Labor, which looks into matters such as these.

“I haven’t checked into it,” he said. “I’m just waiting to see or hear something from OSHA, but I haven’t yet.“

A message left at OSHA, inquiring if the matter was under investigation, was not immediately returned.

Wood’s family is still coping with the loss of a father and husband.

“We’re just lost,” Wood’s daughter, Amanda Lopez, said about her father’s passing. “He was just a really good dad.”

Lopez said officials at McGriff told her and her family the accident occurred while Wood was loading a skidder tire onto a truck.

“They said they’re not sure what faulted,” she said. “But, the tire hit my father. His diaphragm ruptured, and there were eight fractures on his skull.”

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