Willis Cooley died attempting to help save Larry D. Jones from a cave-in, Laurel, Mississippi, July 18, 1990. Jones, 34, and two co-workers, including Cooley, 28, plumber’s helper, were inside an excavated pit that was 15 feet deep, installing a sewer lift station at a construction site. Suddenly, one of the slopes of pit gave way and buried Jones to his waist. Cooley and the other man went to him, and, while they worked to free him, the slope collapsed further, burying Jones and Cooley completely and the other man to his shoulders. Although others entered the pit immediately and worked to free the men, all three died of asphyxia.
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