LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is now investigating after a teenager was killed at a landfill Thursday morning.
Police identified the teenager as 16-year-old William M. Hampton of Lee’s Summit. He was a sophomore at Lee’s Summit High School, known to most there as Will.
The school’s principal sent an email to students and parents Thursday night that read in part:
“It is with deep sorrow that we are reporting the death of Will Hampton, a sophomore member of our Tiger Family, in a tragic accident this morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with Will’s family during this difficult time. We also offer condolences to all Lee’s Summit High School students and staff members, especially Will’s classmates, teachers and support staff.”
The district said there were resources available at Lee’s Summit schools on Friday.
Investigators said Hampton died while working at Lee’s Summit Resource and Recovery Park after being pinned between a semi and its trailer.
“It’s sad there’s been a lot of losses at the high school recently. It’s very sad,” Leahna Diamond said.
The news came the same day Lee’s Summit High students learned another teen, Cody Ashley, had been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the shooting of Dakota Wrightsman just a few days before graduation.
And in February, teacher Rachel Stone died on icy Highway 50 on her way to school.
OSHA is now devoting its resources to determining how the accident happened and whether the 16-year-old was legally employed. That’s not in violation of hazardous orders banning certain types of work for minors under 18.
No official determination has been made, though it’s certainly topic of discussion in a community grieving once again.
“Maybe he wasn’t in the best position for his age group because when you are young the worst part about it is you are inexperienced,” Austin Jamison said.
“These young kids are just working hard. This is not you know the job everybody wants, but it’s a job, and they are working hard. And for something like that to happen, it’s just horrible,” Katie Yennerell said after visiting Lee’s Summit Resource and Recovery Park, which was open Friday.
Although the landfill and adjoining property are owned by the city, it’s operated by KC Dumpster Company LLC. FOX4 called the company and the owner directly, but didn’t receive a response.
An OSHA representative said KC Dumpster Company has no previous violations.