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 Post subject: Hearing postponed for 2 charged in mine death
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:06 pm 
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Location: From Schuylkill County, PA living in Phoenix, AZ
Hearing postponed for 2 charged in mine death

BY PETER E. BORTNER
POTTSVILLE REPUBLICAN & HERALD
Friday, October 3, 2008

Two of three Schuylkill County miners facing charges relating to the death of a fourth in 2006 must wait until later this month for a hearing, originally scheduled for Thursday, on their request to have charges against them dismissed.

David P. Zimmerman, 52, of Pine Grove, and Jeffrey T. Klinger, 42, of Tremont, must wait until 10 a.m. Oct. 20 for their hearing before Judge Jacqueline L. Russell on possible dismissal of charges resulting from the Oct. 23, 2006, explosion at the R&D Coal Co.’s Buck Mountain Mine in Tremont Township, in which Dale R. Reightler was killed.

Zimmerman, who owned the mine, is charged with involuntary manslaughter, recklessly endangering another person, obstructing the administration of law, causing a catastrophe, risking a catastrophe, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, conspiracy and violations of the Anthracite Mining Act.

Klinger is charged with involuntary manslaughter, recklessly endangering another person, causing a catastrophe, risking a catastrophe and violations of the Anthracite Mining Act.

A state grand jury indicted those two, along with David Zimmerman’s son, Steven D. Zimmerman, 32, of Pine Grove, a mine foreman, in April as the result of the explosion that killed Reightler, 43, of Donaldson.

Methane accumulated in the mine and caused the explosion, according to the grand jury. Inadequate ventilation, failure to conduct pre-shift mine inspections, failure to follow proper blasting procedures and failure to monitor methane levels properly allowed the accumulation to occur, according to the grand jury.

At the June 12 preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Carol A. Pankake, Tremont, Nicholas A. Quinn, Pottsville, Klinger’s attorney, and Max G. Kramer, Philadelphia, David Zimmerman’s attorney, each denied that his client was responsible for the explosion and Reightler’s death.

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