Portland man killed building church in White House

A Portland man was killed on Thursday, May 16, after a wheel loader overturned on him in White House, according to Joe Williams, fire chief of the White House Community Volunteer Fire Department.

Thomas Sprinkles, 69, of Portland had recently become a member of the Unity Free Will Baptist Church, which is in the process of clearing land at the 6800 block of New Hall Road for a new church building.

On Thursday, shortly before 9:30 a.m., Williams said the wheel loader was top of a pile of dirt when the accident occurred. 

“It capsized and threw the operator,” Williams said. “Then, it fell on top of him.”

Williams said Sprinkles died at the scene.

It took about 20 minutes to remove the wheel loader after first responders arrived, according to Williams.

“The ambulance arrived in six minutes and the fire department arrived in nine minutes,” he said.

The fire department’s chaplain, Doug Lee, tried to comfort the parishioners, who witnessed the accident, according to Williams.

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