Killed by bulldozer

School’s Tommy Kelly run over while clearing land near Satellite Center

March 28, 2007 at 3:24 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

TOMMY KELLY: Accident a sad day for SC Parish.
Photo courtesy of St. Charles Parish Schools
TOMMY KELLY: Accident a sad day for SC Parish.
A St. Charles Parish public schools employee was killed March 20 while operating a bulldozer to clear land where a marquee sign was to be set up.

Thomas Kelly, 57, of Luling was using the bulldozer to clear trees from behind R.K. Middle and the St. Charles Satellite Center when he was apparently ejected from the bulldozer, according to school spokesperson Rochelle Cancienne. It is still unclear if he was thrown somehow fell off, according to an investigation by the St. Charles Sheriff’s Office.

A janitor at R.K. Middle discovered Kelly’s body after he saw smoke coming from the bulldozer, Cancienne told the Herald-Guide.

“Tommy’s been doing this all his life,” Cancienne said. “When I talked to his wife, she said he died doing what he loved. The district has suffered a great loss.”

He left behind a wife, Debbie, a former art teacher at Destrehan High who retired last year, and one son, Brandon.

Kelly had been employed with the school system since November of 1998 as clerk of the works who oversees construction projects for the district through the office of physical plant services, according to Cancienne.

The bulldozer Kelly was using is owned by RSC rental Service Corp., Cancienne said. The school system insurance company had the bulldozer checked by Nortrax, a John Deere equipment dealer, for any sign of mechanical failure that would have caused him to be forcefully ejected.

The St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office and OSHA were investigating the incident according to sheriff’s spokesman Capt. Pat Yoes.

“Whenever you needed something done, Tommy was the man to go to,” Cancienne said. “He will be greatly missed and our prayers and thoughts are with his family. ”Services were held March 22 and 23 at Mothe Funeral Home in Marrero and he was buried in Luling, Cancienne said.

View other articles written Caleb Frey

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