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A dump truck backs over the Grants Pass man as he marks lines

LTM man dies in roadwork accident

WHITE CITY ' A road worker from Grants Pass died Friday afternoon when a dump truck backed over him, crushing his head.

Tony Michael Frary, 24, of the 1700 block of Northwest D Street, Grants Pass, most likely died instantly at the work site, located at Bigham Brown and Antelope roads, said Jackson County sheriff's deputy Chris Turner. Frary had been an employee of LTM Inc. for about two months, said Dale Lininger, senior vice president and general manager of LTM's Medford operation.

No charges will be filed in connection with Frary's death, Turner said It's purely accidental.

Officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, in addition to LTM's worker compensation firm, were investigating the accident, Lininger said. Lininger said he would not discuss the accident any further until those probes were complete.

The truck's driver, 52-year-old Ronald Paul Rigot, of the 2500 block of Merry Lane, White City, could not see Frary kneeling on the pavement behind his truck, Turner said. Rigot has been a truck driver for LTM for about 20 years, Lininger said.

Frary was killed around 12:50 p.m. as the truck was backing up ' nearly idling in reverse, Turner said. The truck was not carrying a load. With his back turned to the truck, Frary was marking grading lines on the pavement with orange spray paint, Turner added.

The truck's back-up alarm was sounding as it turned toward Frary, Turner said. A traffic flagger reportedly saw the impending accident and tried to get the driver's attention, but it was too late. The truck's right front tire crushed Frary, grinding his grading equipment, tape measure and can of spray paint into the ground, Turner said.

I don't know if (Frary) just wasn't paying attention or what because that back-up alarm is awful loud, Turner said.

Frary's 23-year-old brother Nate Frary works in the Medford Boise mill where forklifts beep as they back up all day long. It's often difficult to judge how close vehicles are by the sound, he said.

Just like anything, you get in a comfort zone. That had to have happened, Nate Frary said.

There was no indication that either Frary or Rigot were impaired in any way, Turner said. No autopsy was scheduled.

In addition to his brother, survivors include a 2-year-old son, Cole, Grants Pass; his father, Michael Frary, White City; and his mother Carol Frary, Portland. Michael Frary, who works for Evergreen Utility Contractors, was working at a site about four miles from his son when the accident happened, Nate Frary said.

LTM workers had been replacing pavement at the intersection for more than a month, Lininger said. The project was suspended following the accident Friday, and the road was closed for about four hours, he added. The project will resume early next week.

Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 776-4487, or e-mail