Car falls off jack and kills man working underneath it

By: Gabriel Roxas Email
By: Gabriel Roxas Email

It's something many people do everyday, but Sunday afternoon working on a car turned deadly for a Kentucky man.

35-year-old Tony Estep died when the car he was beneath fell off a jack and onto him. It happened on Philpot Road in Laurel County.

Just a few homes down from where Estep died, neighbors like Debbie Jones couldn't help but think it could have just as easily been her husband. "It's real scary because you think everything's leveled up, and you've done it so many times that you don't think it possible to happen," Jones said.

Investigators say Estep's wife was helping him with the car just before the accident. "She stepped around to the other side of a shed and was doing something," Laurel County Sheriff's Deputy Gilbert Acciardo said, "When she came back around, the car had slipped off the jack and fallen on top of the man. She was able to jack the vehicle up, and he was already dead."

Acciardo says several things went wrong that could have been prevented. First, the car was not on a level surface. "It actually was on a little bit of an incline and just enough to where when the jack mired down it rolled back a little bit, just enough to roll off of it."

Acciardo points out that the ground was also muddy from overnight rains and because the car was not secured at the wheels the whole area was unstable. "Do all the safety things that you need to do," Acciardo urged everyone who plans to raise a vehicle, "Scotch it. Put supports underneath it. Push and shake it a little bit before you get underneath it, and make sure it's safe for you to climb underneath because every year we work cases just like this."

Estep died from injuries to his neck and chest. Investigators have ruled the death accidental.

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