I am writing in response to George Watkin's recent request for
additional information in Block 13 of the accident reporting
form. I put "poor planning" as the cause of my accident. You
said in your letter that I should explain more fully, and I trust
that the following details will be sufficient.
I am a bricklayer working for Fletch Waggoner on his new
building. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the
roof of the 6th story. When I completed my work, I discovered I
had about 500 lbs. of bricks left over. Rather than carry the
bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using
a pulley, which fortunately was attached to the side of the
building at the 6th floor. Securing the rope at ground level, I
went up to the roof, swung the barrel out and loaded the bricks
into it. Then I went back to the ground and untied the rope,
holding it tightly to insure a slow decent of the 500 lbs. of
bricks. You will note in Block 11 of the accident reporting form
that my weight is 135 lbs. Due to my surprise at being jerked
off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot
to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rather
rapid rate up the side of the building. In the vicinity of the
3rd floor, I met the barrel, which was now proceeding in a
downward direction at an equally impressive rate of speed. This
explains the fractured skull, minor abrasions, and the broken
collar bone, as listed in Sec. III of the accident report form.
Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping
until the fingers of my right hand were 2 knuckles deep into the
pulley, which I mentioned in Paragraph 13 of this correspondence.
Fortunately, by this time, I had regained my presence of mind and
was able to hold tightly to the rope, in spite of the
excruciating pain I was now beginning to experience. At approx.
the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground - and
the bottom fell out of the barrel. Now devoid of the weight of
the bricks, the barrel now weighed approx. 50 lbs. I refer you
again to my weight in Block 11.
As you might imagine, I began a rapid decent down the side of the
building. In the vicinity of the 3rd floor, I met the barrel
coming up. This accounts for the 2 fractured ankles, broken
tooth, severe lacerations of my legs and lower body. Here my
luck began to change slightly. The encounter with the barrel
seemed to slow me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell into
the pile of bricks and fortunately only cracked 3 vertebrae.
I am sorry to report, that as I lay there in the pile of bricks
in pain, unable to move, and watching the empty barrel 6 stories
above me, I again lost my presence of mind and let go of the