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Port Gibson man dies in accident at sawmill

[11/17/2004] PORT GIBSON A Port Gibson man was killed Tuesday morning in a workplace accident.

Andrew L. Byrd, 46, 1165 Tillman Road, was installing new saw blades in the wood chipper with a co-worker at 6:18 a.m. at V&B International Inc., 5078 Rodney Road, when another employee turned on the machine, Claiborne County Sheriff Frank Davis said.

Mr. Byrd became tangled in the blades and was killed, said Claiborne County Coroner James Mallett.

The employee who was helping Byrd was not injured, Davis said.

The accident was under investigation, Mallett said. Mr. Byrd’s body was sent to Mississippi Mortuary Services for an autopsy, he said.

No charges were filed, Davis said.

Changing the blades is routine maintenance, the coroner said.

“Each morning they put new blades in the wood chipper,” Mallett said.

An official at company headquarters who refused to provide his name also refused to comment on anything related to the death.

Mr. Byrd’s brother, Ronnie Byrd, said Mr. Byrd was married and had one son. He was a lifelong resident of Claiborne County and graduate of Port Gibson High School.

The family had not yet made funeral arrangements, Ronnie Byrd said.