City Seeks Third-Party Investigator in Fatal Truck Accident

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COLUMBIA - City officials said Tuesday they are looking to hire a third-party investigation team to find the cause of a fatal dump truck accident last Friday. 23-year-old William Bell died after authorities said he was caught between the cab and the dump bed of a truck while spreading gravel on the MKT trail.

Sarah Perry, Columbia Risk manager said the city is looking to hire an accident reconstruction team because there were no witnesses during the time of the accident. Authorities said someone called emergency response around 8:40 a.m. Friday.

"While we have great, trained people within the city, we felt it was useful to have a third party," she said.

Perry said the city hopes to contract an accident reconstruction in the coming days. She said she hopes they can shed some extra light on the developing situation.

"We hope to get somebody out to start the evaluation of the vehicle and see what information we can gain from what happened," she said.

Perry said she could not comment further because the investigation is not complete. According to the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, 32 percent of all work-related deaths in 2010 were vehicle related.

Bell worked as a part-time employee with Columbia's forestry crew for four years. The Parks and Recreation Department said this is the first fatality in the department's history.