Fallen Coal Miner Is Laid To Rest

By: Kimberly Burcham Email
By: Kimberly Burcham Email

An eastern Kentucky coal miner dies from injuries he received at a Bell County coal mine earlier this month.

This is the first underground mine death in more than a year and a half in Kentucky.

WYMT's Kimberly Burcham spoke with family and friends today as they remembered 45-year-old Joseph Roberts.

Brad Pennington says all they can do now is think about memories of his father-in-law Joseph Roberts.

“He loved to ride four wheelers, talk and cut up. It just won't ever be the same,” Brad Pennington said, Roberts son-in-law.

Roberts lived in Stinnett in Leslie County, but worked at Butcher Branch Coal Mine in the Beverly community of Bell County.

“Me and him used to ride to work together and as soon as he would get in the vehicle, he'd have a smile on his face,” Marshall Sizemore said.

A smile co-workers say he carried into the mines with him.

“He could just walk into a room and everything would change. I mean he just brought laughter and joy. There was no dullness about him,” Russell Collett said.

Officials with the Mine Safety and Health Administration say Roberts was riding a scoop on July 17th when he was seriously injured.

He died July 25th during emergency surgery.

“It was sad to find out what happened to him and really sad to find out that he died and went on to meet the Lord,” Collett said.

“I sure loved him. If you was down, he was there. You couldn't ask for no more,” Pennington said.

Pennington is offering his advice to people with loved ones who work in the coal mines.

Roberts' employer did not want to go on camera but says they've lost a good friend and a good worker.

Joseph Roberts was buried at Stinnett Pentecostal church in Leslie County.


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  • by aw Location: london on Jul 30, 2008 at 01:53 PM
    Joey comes from a family full of faith. My prayer for the family is that during this time of sadness,and confusion..God is still sovereign. His ways are higher than ours. He is the God that gives and takes away. He is still Holy and just. My prayers is for his mom, sisters, cousins, and his wife. I pray Joey with the Lord and with his wonderful father, Dave.
  • by Deana Location: London on Jul 30, 2008 at 12:32 PM
    Joey was a great person. He was my uncle and made everybody laugh. He will be greatly missed but I now he is in Gods hands now. I feel peace in my heart.
  • by HEATHER Location: LESLIE COUNTY on Jul 30, 2008 at 11:02 AM
    JOEY WAS A GOOD MAN, WHO ENJOYED LAUGHTER. HE HAS LEFT BEHIND AN AMAZING FAMILY, WHO ARE STRONG AND CAN MAKE IT WITH GOD'S HELP AND THE LOVE AND SUPPORT FROM FRIENDS AND FAMILY.
  • by Amy Location: London on Jul 30, 2008 at 09:38 AM
    Joey was such a nice guy who was always cutting up & cracking jokes. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
  • by Coal Miners Daughter Location: Wheelwright, Ky on Jul 30, 2008 at 06:30 AM
    My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of this unsung hero. People don't realize or appreciate what these men do for us everyday. They knowingly put their lives in danger to take care of their families and ours. Be proud of our coalminers and always remember the families of "The Unsung Heros!"
  • by Lewis Location: Hyden on Jul 30, 2008 at 04:18 AM
    Joey was a great man and will be missed by all who knew him.
  • by Joe Location: Hazard, Ky on Jul 29, 2008 at 07:20 PM
    Our prayers go out to the family. Joey was a hard worker and that always put his family first.

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