Login NowClose 
Sign In to thecouriertimes.com           
Forgot Password
or if you have not registered since 8/22/18
Click Here to Create an Account

Birthday wishes focus on speedy recovery for park employee

By DARREL RADFORD - dradford@thecouriertimes.com

Birthday wishes Monday for Faye Williams-Johnson had little to do with cake and everything to do with prayer.

A Henry County Memorial Park employee, she was scheduled for surgery Monday in Indianapolis to treat multiple fractures received following an accident at the park last week.

Williams-Johnson was seriously injured while on the job last Monday, June 10. She was accidentally run over with a backhoe while weed eating with other employees in the “South 90” section of the park.

Persistently wet weather, which had delayed mowing, and old equipment appeared to share at least part of the blame for the accident. 

“Gary Whittle was operating the backhoe and had dug up one of the ladders when he hit a hole where he had previously dug up some equipment,” said Gerri Williams, Faye’s sister and a member of the Memorial Park Board. “He could not see where the hole was because the grass was so tall. He lost control of the backhoe and it went into Faye’s direction and ran over her while she was weed-eating. 

“She was weed-eating with some other employees in that area,” Gerri Williams continued. “One of the employees saw Faye go down and ran to tell Gary to move the backhoe off of her. When Gary did, he ran over her again. He didn’t hear Faye yelling.”

Whittle was understandably upset about the accident and has been receiving counseling. Gerri Williams said prayers are going out to him as well.

Park board president Landon Dean emphasized the accident wasn’t the fault of any employee.

“The backhoe got stuck in a hole created by removing old playground equipment,” Dean said. “When it came un-stuck, the backhoe took off out of control and hit the worker, who was weed-eating the area. I just think it was an accident. I don’t think anyone did anything negligent by any means.” 

Monday, the day of the surgery, was Faye’s birthday. Gerri Williams said her recovery will probably be “a very long road.” Her return to work is uncertain.

“This will upset her terribly because she loves that park and always has ever since she was a kid,” Gerri said. “This was her life, taking care of that park.”