Mine Fatality in Bell County

Colmar mine is site of accident

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 12, 2022) – A 32-year-old coal miner was killed Tuesday at the Colmar mine, in Colmar, Bell County. The mine is owned by Nally & Hamilton Enterprises Inc., of Bardstown.

Cecil T. Collett, of Dryden, Virginia, a surface miner/blaster, began his shift at 6 a.m. Tuesday. Collett was returning to the work area in a pickup truck about 3:30 p.m. when a tree approximately 24 inches in diameter fell from the high wall above the roadway and struck the truck as it passed. A passenger in the pickup, 45-year-old excavator operator Joshua Pendleton, of Ewing, Virginia, was injured in the accident.

Both were taken to Middlesboro ARH hospital, where Collett was pronounced dead and Pendleton was diagnosed with a broken hip and pelvis.

“This miner’s unfortunate death is another reminder of the special dangers that these miners face daily,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “Please join me in expressing my deep condolences to his family, friends and community.”

All mining operations were shut down after the accident and will continue to be suspended Wednesday while an investigation continues. The Kentucky Department for Natural Resources, Division of Mine Safety, sent investigators to the mine Tuesday afternoon.

“Our sympathy goes out to Mr. Collett’s family for their loss,” Kentucky Energy and Environment Secretary Rebecca Goodman said. “We will look carefully at what happened, and how it could have been prevented.”