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COVINGTON, VA – A CSX railroad worker was critically injured after falling 50 feet off a bridge into the Jackson River near the Mead Westvaco paper mill in Covington, VA on Tuesday, February 8, 2011.

Satellite view of railroad bridge over the Jackson River in Covington, VA near the Mead Westvaco Paper Mill where a CSX railroad worker fell 50 feet into the frigid water on February 8, 2011.

Covington is located in Alleghany County, Virginia in the northern part of the state, about 63 miles north of Roanoke.

The injured worker was identified as Alvin “A.J.” Boguess, 24 years old, from Covington, who works as a conductor for CSX Transportation.

The accident happened around 7:00 p.m. Tuesday evening. Details of exactly what happened in the accident and how Boguess fell from the bridge are not clear, except that he was working with a 3-man crew switching cars into the Mead Westvaco paper mill at the time. Officials from CSX are examining the circumstances of the accident but have not released any details.

Location of railroad bridge near the Mead Westvaco Paper Mill in Covington, VA where CSX railroad worker, Alvin "A.J." Boguess fell 50 feet into the freezing water.

CSX switchman and co-worker, Dale Smith, 48 years old, also from Covington, hurried down the riverbank after Boguess fell and then waded into the freezing Jackson River to help save Boguess. Smith was treated for hypothermia.

According to reports, Smith found Boguess face down in the water. Boguess was rescued and then airlifted approximately 37 miles to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, the nearest level one trauma center in the area – level one being of the most severe category.

According to the latest reports, Boguess remains in critical condition.

On Saturday, February 12, a benefit was organized by local non-profit group in Covington to raffle off baked goods and to raise money for the family. Friends and family gathered together at the event at the Covington Food Lion in support of Boguess. Boguess has two young children and is the bread winner of the family.

The accident is currently under investigation by the Covington Police and CSX. The railroad company notified the Federal Railroad Administration after the incident.

Boguess served in the Iraq War and came back to work for CSX. He was laid off and then returned back to work.

Published by FELA lawyer Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP

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