Murphy Peterson (d. 2001)


Cause of Death

On April 27, 2001 at 10:45 a.m. Heavy Equipment Operator, Murphy Peterson, was driving a truck and a lowboy trailer  westbound on Highway 64 approximately one mile west of the Alligator River NWR office when he suddenly conducted an emergency stop to avoid colliding with passenger cars stopped in his travel lane awaiting a vehicle turning onto a side street.  During the emergency stop procedure, one of the secured load items located on the lowboy trailer became unsecured when the tie-down chains and ratchet tie-downs broke allowing it to strike the upright portion of the trailer and propelling the piece of equipment onto the trucks cab crushing the cab's roof downward onto the dashboard/steering wheel.   Peterson was pinned inside the cab and showed no indications of life (no pulse or breathing) immediately after the accident.  Heavy extrication efforts were required to remove Peterson's body from the wreckage.  A passenger in the truck, Service Intern Tony Beurskeus, was also pinned in the truck's interior but did not suffer notable trauma.


Serious Incident Report from Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.