Survivor of fatal heavy machinery accident in Hamilton still fighting for his life

The two men were operating a 30,000-pound heavy tire roller when it malfunctioned and crashed.
Published: Oct. 10, 2023 at 9:37 PM EDT
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HAMILTON, Ohio (WXIX) - A man who survived a fatal crash involving road construction equipment in Hamilton remains in the ICU at Kettering Hospital, according to a family friend.

Damion Winkler and a second man, identified by Hamilton police as Jacob Moler, were working at a site along Old Oxford Road on Oct. 3 when the 30,000-pound heavy tire roller they were operating malfunctioned and crashed, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Moler was killed and Winkler was hospitalized.

“With Damion not working and him being the sole provider of the family, for the most part, it’s just really hard,” said Shawna Cain, close friend of Winkler and his wife Shannon.

Cain says Shannon is still by Damion’s side and their three children are with her mother and father.

She directed FOX19 NOW to Shannon’s Facebook page which says Damion has a brain injury and is battling pneumonia.

“Everybody is pretty distraught about it. She has not left there other than to take a shower. I’m not real sure how she’s doing it right now. Thank God for technology because that’s how she’s able to talk to her kids and see her kids,” Cain said.

Two days after the accident, Cain says Shannon noticed Damion’s wedding ring was missing so Cain went back to the scene of the accident and began searching for it.

“I made a Facebook post on one of the Hamilton Facebook groups asking if anybody was bored and wanted to come help me and I went out there by myself and was trucking along through the mud and dirt searching. All of a sudden, people just started showing up out of nowhere and it ended up being a gentleman by the name of Kyle Knox who personally knows Damion who found it,” Cain said.

She sent Shannon a picture after Damion’s wedding ring was discovered.

“It’s the sentimental value. It’s the ring you place on your hand when you marry somebody. Although it can be replaced and you can go buy a duplicate of it, it’s never the same,” Cain said.

Cain has set up a GoFundMe to help Damion and his family. There is also a fundraiser in Eaton, Ohio on Saturday. 100% of the proceeds will go to the Winkler family.

OSHA and the Hamilton Police Department are investigating the accident.

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