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Crazy accident leaves local worker dead

A bizarre working accident left a Minnesotan man dead Wednesday afternoon.

Gene White, 63, was repairing a Perkins flagpole in St. Paul when a large ball dropped from the pole and hit him in the head.

White was knocked unconsciousness immediately and was pronounced dead at Regions Hospital a few hours later.

White started his own business, Twin Cities Flag Source, over 23 years ago and normally fixed flags at local banks and companies.

James Honerman, a spokesman for Minnesota OSHA, is investigating the incident. According to Honerman, there have been similar accidents that have occurred in previous years. Amazingly, falling objects have killed 15 workers and injured another nine in the past five years in Minnesota alone.

It is not entirely clear why the ball, which weighs 10 pounds, fell. It is also not clear if White should have been wearing some sort of head protection while working.

Both the Star Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press reported on the freak accident. The reports were generally similar, but had some differences. The Tribune had information on the previous deaths, while the Pioneer Press included quotes from a few eye-witnesses and a graphic map that showed where the accident happened. Both stories were of the typical hard-news fashion.