Mother of industrial accident victim's son: 'I just told him he wouldn't see daddy again'

Kristin Cummings says Aaron Ball was a 'goofball' and always trying to help other people

April 14, 2011|By DAN DEARTH |
  • Aaron Ball is pictured recently with his son, Damien Ball. Aaron Ball was killed Wednesday in an industrial accident at the Purina Mills plant near Halfway.
Submitted photo

The girlfriend of a man who died Wednesday in an industrial accident at the Purina Mills plant near Halfway remembered him Thursday as a wonderful father who went out of his way to help others.

"He was always there when anyone needed him," Kristin Cummings said of Aaron Ball. "Aaron was just the best guy. He was always trying to help other people."

Ball, 25, who lived near Mercersburg, Pa., was killed at the plant while he was cleaning a machine, the Washington County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday.

Neither Purina Mills spokeswoman Jeanne Forbis nor Michael Raia, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, would comment on the incident Thursday because they said it was still being investigated.

Forbis said in an email, however, that the plant hadn't recorded a "lost-time injury" accident for nearly nine years.

"To assist workers at the plant, Land O'Lakes Purina Feed is providing employee assistance, including counseling to deal with the loss," Forbis said.   

Cummings, 24, of Chambersburg, Pa., said she and Ball had a 4-year-old son, Damien Ball, and had talked about getting married.

She said Aaron and Damien Ball spent a lot of time together fishing and playing video games. They also liked to go on bike rides.

Cummings said she tried to explain to Damien that his father was gone, but he wasn't able to grasp it.

"I just told him he wouldn't see daddy again," she said.

Cummings said she and Ball met in 2005 and fell in love. She said he had a terrific sense of humor and always tried to make people laugh.

"Aaron was the best guy," she said. "He was a goofball."

Ball recently earned an associate degree at Kaplan University and started a firewood business, Cummings said. He landed a job loading trucks at Purina and had worked there for about 90 days before the accident that claimed his life Wednesday.

"He loved it," Cummings said. "He loved it because it was so laid back. It was something he had never done before."

She said she was "frantic" when a Maryland state trooper told her about Ball's death Wednesday night. The family will spend the next few days making funeral arrangements, Cummings said.

"I'm still in shock," she said. "I think we're all in shock."

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