2018-11-08 / Front Page

Hartwell man fatally injured

An 82-year-old Hartwell man was killed Sunday, November 4, in north Wilkes County when a bobcat-type loader he was operating fell into Broad River.

Billy Ethridge of Parkdale Drive in Hartwell, was the owner of a construction company in Hart County. He was cleaning up around a deer camp when the accident occured, according to Wilkes County EMS Director Blake Thompson.

“I think he just backed up right into the river,” Thompson said. “He’s probably been on a ‘bobcat’ for 60 years but it was just one of those freak accidents.” Thompson also indicated that there were reportedly some grandchildren on the scene.

The Beulah and Tignall Volunteer Fire Departments, as well as the Washington Rescue and EMS responded to the call. Thompson reported that “Tignall and Beulah pulled [Etheridge] out onto the bank and got him to the ER at Wills Memorial Hospital.”

Extensive efforts to save Etheridge were unsuccessful and he died in the emergency room.

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