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Madras woman struck, killed in workplace

by: Contributed photo - Susanna Parish


   A 29-year-old Madras woman was killed Nov. 30, around 8:10 p.m., in an accident at Bright Wood Corporation.
   Susanna M. Parish, who had worked as a finger joint feeder at the plant for the past six months, was cleaning up wood debris from the floor of the plant when she was struck by a hyster, which was carrying a load of wood, according to a report from the Madras Police Department. Police did not release the name of the hyster operator.
   "Upon arrival, Madras police, assisted by Bright Wood Corporation employees, attempted to resuscitate the victim without success," said Officer Frank Kerr.
   Parish was pronounced dead after the arrival of the Jefferson County Emergency Medical Services.
   The Madras Police Department, with assistance from the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office, is investigating the death. The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and the Oregon State Police assisted the MPD in the initial investigation.
   Bright Wood has offered counseling to employees affected by the accident. "We have an employee assistance program in place that allows us to cope with these types of situations," said Mike Throop, personnel director.
   Kevin Weeks, public information officer for Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (OR-OSHA), said that his department has begun an investigation to reconstruct the events that led up to the accident. When the final report comes out -- usually within six to eight weeks -- it will show whether or not there was a violation.
   The fatality was the second accidental death at Bright Wood. Fourteen years ago, a 22-year-old hyster operator was killed when the hyster he was operating rolled over on him.
   Speaking for the Parish family, family friend Marie Ennis commented, "Susanna was not only a loving daughter, but a very close friend. She and her mother did everything together."
   Parish did a lot of volunteer work, according to her friend Sheila Bridgman. "She spent a lot of time helping her sisters. She was a very sweet person."
   A memorial service was held on Saturday at the Madras Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witness. (See obituary on Page 3B.)