Pike Judge-Executive Ray Jones said Monday that the death of Danny Taylor, a Pike County Road Department employee and Pike County Sheriff’s deputy, in an accident at a worksite Friday has resulted in a “tremendous loss to the community.”

Jones said Taylor, 61, was killed Friday as he was operating an excavator at the site of a slide on Little Robinson Creek when the accident occurred.

“While using an excavator to remove a tree from a creek where a slide had occurred on Little Robinson Creek, the tree slipped from the bucket,” Jones said. “According to witnesses, the tree bounced.”

After bouncing, Jones said, the tree entered the operator compartment of the excavator, resulting in Taylor’s death.

Jones said the incident was unique in how it occurred.

“I’m not sure you could recreate it if you tried,” Jones said.

Jones said no matter time of year or work being done, there is a danger to the employees, especially when heavy equipment is involved.

“The work they do is dangerous,” Jones said. “This should reinforce to members of the general public the sacrifices our employees make.”

Taylor, Jones said, was a personal friend and the hardest-working person the judge-executive has known.

“He lived a life of service to his community,” he said. “He was a great guy and it’s a tremendous loss for Pike County.”

Jones said the county will be examining the incident and attempting to prevent anything similar from occurring in the future.

“We’re going to do everything in our power to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” he said.

The accident, he said, remains under investigation.

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