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Two miners sentenced after death of worker

Published November 05. 2009 05:00PM

Two miners who were involved in a mine explosion which caused the death of one worker appeared before Judge Jacqueline Russell in the Schuylkill County Court Wednesday afternoon to be sentenced on charges they entered pleas. One walked out of the courtroom as he was placed on house arrest while the second will spend at least three months the county jail but is eligible for work release.

David Paul Zimmerman, 53, of Mollystown Road, Pine Grove, entered a plea of nollo contendre (no defense). He was sentenced on a charge of involuntary manslaughter arising out of the accident which happened at the R and D Coal Company;s Buck Mountain mine , located in the western part of Schuylkill County, in which an explosion ignited methane gas which caused the death of Dale Reightler on October 23, 2006, was placed under house arrrest under electronic surveillance for six months at a cost of $12 per day, was fined $1,000, ordered to pay $50 to the Criminal Justice Enhancement Account fund and a $50 monthly probation supervision fee. He also must performed 100 hours of community service related to mine safety measures.

Steven D. Zimmerman, 34, also of Mollystown Road, Pine Grove, on a charge of causing a catastrophe, was sentenced to serve three months to 23 months in the county prison starting immediately but is eligible for work release. He also was fined $1,000 and court costs and must perform 100 hours of community service related to mine safety measurers.

The victim's widow reluctantly had agreed to the plea bargaining claiming nothing could be done to bring back her husband. "I go home every night and my husband is not there. He will not be at his daughter's wedding nor his son's graduation," she tearfully commented.

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