Front Royal man dies in silo collapse

Daniel Potter

Authorities identified a Front Royal man as the victim in Monday’s silo collapse at a quarry in Loudoun County.

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration reported that the victim is Daniel Potter, 18, of Front Royal.

Potter went missing when the silo at Luck Stone’s quarry near Ashburn collapsed Monday morning.

Emergency responders worked through the day and into the night to find Potter. Crews discovered his body around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday under tons of mineral filler and metal equipment, according to information from the Loudoun County Fire, Rescue and Emergency Management.

June Cullers, 82, a next door neighbor of the Potter family, said Tuesday she has known Daniel Potter since he was 6 years old. Cullers spoke highly of Potter and said he did various jobs for her and continued to help even after he started to work at the quarry.

“He was almost like my own kid,” Cullers said. “I thought that much of him ’cause you just don’t see kids like that anymore, the way he was.”

Cullers said she learned about Potter’s death from his father.

“He was a neat boy and just a homebody,” Cullers added. “It wasn’t because he had to be ’cause he was a real good-looking boy.”

Potter talked to her about the new job at the quarry, Cullers said.

“He said, ‘It’s hot and it’s hard’ but he said ‘I’m getting used to it,'” Cullers recalled. “Even though he worked down there he still mowed for me on the weekends.”

Crews were not able to recover Potter’s body until Tuesday because the area around the collapsed silo became unstable and cranes were needed to remove debris from the site, Amy Louviere, a spokeswoman for the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, said.

The federal agency is investigating the collapse.

“We’ll interview witnesses and miners who work there and mine management and we’ll develop a chronology of all the activities leading up to the accident so they can kind of paint a picture of what may have happened,” Louviere said.

Investigators will put their findings into a comprehensive report that the agency will post on its website. The agency also would include any enforcement actions it would take against the mine operator, Louviere said.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com