Contact: Tammy Miller, 874-7465
We are shocked and saddened at the loss of a Parks and Recreation employee this morning. The accident occurred at approximately 8:30 am at a work site along the MKT Trail.
The employee, William Bell, worked for our department as a part-time seasonal employee. He started working for Parks and Recreation in the summer of 2007. Will, as he was known by his peers, was an excellent employee and returned every summer to work on the department’s Forestry crew. Typical tasks that Will performed included building trails, planting and removing trees, mowing parks, and other duties such as working with volunteers.
Mr. Bell was driving one of the single axle dump trucks owned by the Parks & Recreation Department and was in the process of spreading gravel for a construction road along the MKT Trail. He has been driving this truck since his start in 2007. At 8:39 am, fire and medical personnel were notified that a male subject was trapped between the cab and dump bed of a dump truck. Upon arrival, paramedics from University of Missouri Hospital and Clinics pronounced Mr. Bell deceased.
The investigation into the accident is ongoing and is being conducted by both the police and the risk management departments. This is the first workplace fatality in the Parks and Recreation Department.
William Bell was 23 years old and leaves behind his parents and a sister.
City Manager Mike Matthes expressed his deep concern. “This is heartbreaking for the family, and I extend sympathy on behalf of all of us at City Hall. This is our loss, too, and we are grieving," Matthes said.
Park Services Manager Mike Griggs, expressed: “Right now our main concern is for the family and for our employees. Will was not only a good employee but a great friend to several of us. We ask that you keep the family in your thoughts.”
Parks and Recreation Director Mike Hood is currently unavailable due to a vacation outside the country.
Parks & Recreation is providing counseling services through the City’s Employee Assistance Program.