Monday, November 19, 2007

Why Our Son Was Taken From Us?

Tyler Kahle, our one and only child will not be able to celebrate his 20th birthday with us this week on November 24. Not because he is away working at the Rock Creek Mine and can't come home, but because he was working at the Rock Creek Mine and he will never come home again.

Please see the photo attached of Tyler, smiling with Nome in the background because he was so enjoying his adventure there. He loved the people, his co-workers, the outdoors activities and he thought he had the world by the tail. He did, until July 19, 2007. His world and ours came crashing down on a JLG 120 HX man lift along with his co-worker and fishing buddy, Craig Bagley. Our nephew, had encouraged Tyler to take the job. They lived, worked and played together in Nome. That same nephew worked frantically with his co-workers on Tyler to undo the damage a 60+ foot fall does to a body, then watched his cousin and best friend die before his eyes. Tyler is at peace, the rest of us are in turmoil. Make no mistake, Tyler is not just a number on a fatality report he was a very nice human being. He was a treasure to our entire Tomahawk community, hardworking, charismatic, friendly and those that met him instantly liked him. He had a bright future ahead of him.

Evidently Alaska Mechanical & Alaska Gold Company are legally obligated to investigate the accident themselves under the Miner's Bill of Rights, and supply us with the information, however, the law does not provide a deadline. MSHA investigated, then they released the site and equipment involved back to the company only 8 days after the accident without giving us equal access. There is no deadline for MSHA to release their report. They can sit on the report for however long they would like and put the rest of the work force in danger and potentially dangerous equipment back into use. Holding onto these reports for months or years only allows the statute of limitations to run out, evidence to change, witnesses to disappear and prohibits the victims families from refuting or challenging their findings.

Our requests for accident investigation information have been denied from Alaska Mechanical Inc. and Alaska Gold Company. We do not even have a list of the witnesses or people who assisted when our child took his last breath. Months later we still have no answers. MSHA has yet to release the report and the only response we get from these companies is that they too are awaiting the MSHA report and they are hoping to put this matter behind them. We would like everyone to know that this will never be behind us. It will always be right in front of us like the big black hole that our future became the day this preventable fatality took place. What they can plan on having behind them is us, looking for justice.

Given the refusal of these companies to release any information, we have been forced to embarkon our own investigation. We sent a team to Nome in Sept. to inspect the lift. The witnesses and site were not at our disposal. If anyone has information they would like to share with us concerning the July 19, 2007, accident or any contributing factors, please contact us. We intend to find justice for Tyler. Co-workers are protected against litigation by the Workers Compensation Act. They have no fear in coming forward.

We would like Alaska Mechanical Inc. and Alaska Gold Company to tell us why our son was taken from us and we have to celebrate his birthday without him.

If you would like to contact Tyler Kahle Parents please email Tammy or call 859-266-5646

Company info:
Alaska Mechanical, Inc.
8540 Dimond D Circle
Anchorage, AK 99515-1938
P.O. Box 203649
Anchorage, AK 99520-3649
Phone 907-349-8502
Fax 907-349-1324
Jon Albright, E-mail:

Alaska Gold Co
Address: 221 E 5th Ave, Nome, AK 99762
Phone: (907) 443-5272
Gary L. Barker
Richard W. Corman
Treasurer, Chief Financial

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