Coroner releases name of victim in Fairfield bowling accident

Coroner releases name of victim in Fairfield bowling accident
David Geiger (back center) (Photo: Facebook)
David Geiger (back center) (Photo: Facebook)

BUTLER COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - The Butler County Coroner's office on Friday released the name of the worker who died Thursday while doing maintenance work in a Fairfield bowling alley.

According to the coroner's office, David Geiger, 53, of Cincinnati died of asphyxiation.

Geiger was doing maintenance in the back on a pin setter when part of his clothing got caught in the machine, Fairfield police said. The equipment pulled him in, killing him.

Federal officials confirmed Friday they are investigating the case.

Bill Wilkerson, area director for the Cincinnati office of the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), said investigators responded to Northwest Lanes on Happy Valley Drive immediately following the incident. They plan to return next week as they continue their probe.

"It's a very tragic accident," he said.

No one heard or saw the accident, authorities say, but another employee at the bowling alley found Geiger about ten minutes after it happened.

"He was sent back with a problem with one of the lanes," said police spokesman Doug Day. "He went back there and they tried to call him and when he didn't answer the call they went back there and found him. It's not something they have happen very offer so like the other employees it's a small business, so they're all affected."

Geiger had worked for the bowling alley about four years.

"David was a great guy, he was known well through the bowling community...hard worker, always willing to help out and anything he cold and it's a very tragic situation," said Jason Vandermark, a general manager at Western Bowl, and who knew Geiger.

OSHA's involvement is important because the federal agency which oversees workplace safety will determine whether job safety rules were violated. The agency can issue citations and fines.

Wilkerson declined to say what investigators have determined so far.

"He got caught in the mechanism at the back of the pin side of the alley and it resulted in his death, unfortunately. I don't want to be premature in my judgments," he said. "The (Butler County) coroner has to weigh in on the exact cause of death."

It's not clear when the investigation will end, but it could be soon.

"I would hope it would wrap up within a couple of weeks," Wilkerson said. "That may or may not happen because of information we need to gather. That may take some time."

OSHA doesn't have prior dealings with this bowling alley, he noted.

"We have had, on occasion, investigations at bowling alleys based on worker complaints or an accident or something, but they are not very frequent," he said."

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