Florida Mechanic Killed in Freak Shop Mishap

March 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

A Lakeland, Fla., mechanic of more than 20 years was killed early Thursday when a recreational vehicle he was working on rolled on top of him, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said.

Gerald L. McMurtry was declared dead at the scene, Munday Machinery, according to The Ledger.

Detectives said the 58-year-old’s death appeared to be accidental.

“The man worked for me for 25 years and it’s just tough,” said Dennis Munday, who owns the business. “I can’t even really talk about it without breaking up.”

McMurtry and another mechanic were working on the 30-foot RV about 11:40 a.m., the sheriff’s office said.

The two were repairing the auto-leveling system underneath the vehicle, which was lifted by a 2-ton jack.

The other mechanic went to the bathroom and when he returned, he discovered the RV had rolled forward and landed on top of McMurtry.

The mechanic and other employees used a forklift to lift the RV off McMurtry, then gave him CPR until EMS arrived.

He could not be resuscitated.

“It appears by all accounts to be a tragic accident,” sheriff’s office spokeswoman Carrie Eleazer said.

But, she said, “All death investigations are open until we get autopsy results back and close it out . There are no charges pending.

McMurtry lived behind Munday Machinery, where he’d worked for many years.

Owner Dennis Munday remained in shock Thursday afternoon.

He called the experience “surreal.”

“It’s like something that happens in the movies,” he said. “I’m still here with police officers. They haven’t even moved the body.”

Munday declined to say more.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is also investigating.

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