Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Local News

September 5, 2012

Olive Hill man dies at Smithfield plant

Sept. 5, 2012 — Drue Gay, 47, of KY 986, Olive Hill, died Sunday night at the Grayson processing plant of Smithfield Foods, Inc.

Assistant Carter County Coroner Ronnie Wallace pronounced him dead at 11:30 p.m. in the area of the plant where hams are smoked.

Gay was a maintenance worker who had been employed at the plant since 2008. His body was transported to the state medical examiner’s office in Frankfort for an autopsy.

An official cause of death will not be determined until autopsy results are received, the coroner’s office said.

Dennis Pittman, Smithfield’s director of corporate communications, said Tuesday that Gay apparently had received an accidental electrical shock.

He added that safety investigators from Smithfield and OSHA are at the plant this week.

“We extend our condolences to the Gay family,” Pittman said. “Smithfield is deeply committed to the safety of its employees and we need to know exactly what happened in this tragic accident.”

Smithfield Foods is a $13 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer.

The Grayson plant is among nine pork processing facilities operated by Smithfield Packing, Inc., a subsidiary company.

The incident also is being investigated by Det. Sgt. Travis Steele of the Grayson Police Department.

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