New Castle News

May 26, 2013

Man dies in loading dock mishap

Nancy Lowry
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — A Sharon man died Friday night after he was caught between two trucks at Lowe’s in Union Township.

Joseph P. Nogee, 31, of 991 Division St., Sharon, formerly of Pulaski, was pronounced dead in the Jameson Hospital emergency room by Lawrence County Deputy Coroner Richard Johnson.

Johnson said Nogee’s death was caused by a crushing injury to the abdomen and has been ruled an accident.

According to Johnson and Union Township police, Nogee and Jeremy Eppinger, 34, of 112 Miller Road, Portersville, were unloading appliances from a delivery box truck into a semi truck storage trailer, pulled end-to-end at the loading dock at the Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse store on West State Street.

When the men completed their task, Johnson said, Eppinger, the driver, left the dock to pull the truck forward so Nogee could close the doors of the box truck.

Police said Eppinger told them that as he shifted gears, his foot slipped from the brake pedal and he felt the truck drift backward a little and felt the bumpers hit.

“He said he pulled the truck forward and  Nogee staggered out from between the trucks and collapsed,” said Lt. Mike Mrozek of Union Township police.

Police, fire and ambulance crews were called, arriving at 4:40 p.m. Union officer Randall Cook and later, Noga ambulance personnel, attempted to revive Nogee but were unsuccessful.

Johnson said he pronounced Nogee dead at the Jameson emergency room.

Noting that Nogee has worked at Lowe’s since 2004,  Mrozek said he has performed the task of unloading  “hundreds of thousands of times and followed the same procedure they did every time” without incident.

Union police Lt. Mark Julian said the investigation is continuing, but both he and Mrozek believe that no charges will be filed against Eppinger.

“This was ruled an accident,” Julian said. “That is clearly what it was.”

Complete obituary information will be announced in Tuesday's paper.