Teen killed in ‘freak’ accident

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 14, 2004

AHOSKIE – An Ahoskie teenager was tragically killed here Tuesday afternoon in what Hertford County emergency responders called &uot;a freak accident.&uot;

Brandon Mitchell, 19, died after being struck in the chest by a piece of steel while working at Liverman’s Automotive, located on Modlin Road, north of Ahoskie.

According to Hertford County Emergency Services Director Charles Jones, Mitchell and a co-worker were using a torch to cut metal in a scrap yard owned by Alan Liverman, adjacent to the Liverman Automotive garage. Jones said he was informed by Hertford County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Ronnie Stallings, in charge of the accident investigation, that a piece of steel became dislodged during the torching process, striking Mitchell in his chest area.

&uot;It was just a freak accident,&uot; said Jones. &uot;The piece of steel wasn’t that big, but it was just the way it struck the young man in the chest, apparently causing blunt trauma, which resulted in his death.&uot;

Jones said the call for assistance came in sometimes around 12 noon on Tuesday. Hertford County EMS responded with four units.

&uot;We didn’t know what we had until arriving at the scene,&uot; stated Jones. &uot;Mr. Liverman and other workers had started CPR on the victim prior to our arrival. They were doing everything they could in order to save his life and I commend them for their efforts.&uot;

Jones added that the first unit from his department arrived at the accident scene four minutes following the call for assistance.

According to Jones, the mishap was the first industrial related fatality in Hertford County in recent memory.

The scrap yard owned by Liverman purchases scrap metal, processes it and sells the product to the Nucor Steel Plate Mill in Hertford County.