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Sheriff Warns Of Dangers At Quarries
Updated May 28, 2013 1:34 PM
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Empire Quarry

(BEDFORD) - Lawrence County Sheriff Sam Craig says now that the weather is turning warmer he is warning people to stay away from the area's quarries.

The death of 37-year-old Jamie Fleener, of Bedford, whose body was pulled from the Empire Quarry early May 20 highlighters the on-going problem.

Rescue workers recovered Fleenor's body from the quarry after her husband David Fleenor told police Jamie was seen walking a trail at the quarry next to an 80-foot-high cliff, when she lost her footing and slipped over the edge.

Craig says trespassing at quarries in the area is not unusual, but it is against the law. Many people that are injured at the sites treat the quarries like parks or pools and don't realize the dangers.

"They just feel like nothing will happen to them," Craig added.

Indiana Limestone Company Manager Mark Bryant says quarrying companies keep open reservoirs on site to wet the saws workers use to slice through rock.

Bryant warns there are dangers, narrow ledges, live power lines and jagged rocks.
He added limestone companies take precautions such as surrounding the quarries with fencing or big pieces of stone and plenty of signs warning trespassers.

"But people still get in and then fall and there is just no way to rescue them in time," Bryant says. "The company then began using gates with chains and locks and fencing, but people still run through the gate and fences with their vehicle and cut the locks."

Lawrence County Coroner Rob Herr says officials still have not ruled on the cause of death of Fleener. He says they are now waiting on a toxicology report, which could take weeks to complete.

Indiana Conservation Officers were called to the quarry in Needmore after a report of a body floating in the water.

According to Officer Jim Hash officers recovered Fleenor's body around 5:30 a.m. David Fleenor went to a home in the 1000 block of Kentucky Hollow Road and knocked on the woman's door just after 2 a.m. to report his wife had fallen in the quarry
Marshall Township Volunteer Fire Department, Indiana Conservation officers and Lawrence County Police responded to the scene.

Conservation officers and Volunteer firefighters made a high angle rescue about 100 to 150 feet down into the quarry to retrieve Jamie Fleenor's body.

High angle rescue is a specialized skill that utilizes life safety ropes and related equipment to reach victims, extricate them. Rescuers are totally dependent upon the ropes used to keep them from falling and to gain access to and egress from the rescue location.

While at the scene police discovered a meth lab and the Indiana State Police Clandestine team was notified to dispose of the lab. Police arrested 29-year-old David Fleenor , of 406 1/2 17th Street on charges of manufacturing meth and possession of precursors.

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