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Investigators: No safety violations in Yow accident

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billy yow

Billy Yow (left) talks with a fellow Guilford County commissioner in 2007.

GREENSBORO — State investigators found no safety violations in the well-drilling accident that critically injured former Guilford County Commissioner Billy Yow.

Meanwhile, Yow is recovering steadily, said Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes, a close friend of the family.

“I just talked to him two days ago,” Barnes said. “He’s doing fine — still doing some rehab, but they have all hopes that before long he’ll be right back to normal.

“He’ll be operating his business and doing all the things he always did.”

On Monday, the N.C. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Division said it finished its investigation of D & Y Well Drilling and the July 20 incident.

The investigator didn’t find any violations of North Carolina occupational safety and health standards and closed the investigation without handing out any citations, according to the agency.

The accident happened when a hose burst from the drilling rig, struck him in the face and knocked him back into metal pipes. He was rushed to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for emergency surgery.

His wife, Keri Yow, said he suffered some broken facial bones and some swelling.

Barnes said Yow’s well drilling operation is still running and that Yow is looking forward to getting back to it.

The accident led to an outpouring of affection for Yow, a former Guilford commissioner who could sometimes be controversial.

Yow is a staunch conservative Republican, but prayers and well-wishes have been coming from both Republicans and Democrats from across the county.

Commissioner Carolyn Coleman served — and sparred — with Yow for years on the Guilford County Board of Commissioners.

At the commissioners’ last meeting she wished Yow well with just the sort of smile and wink he so often employed when he was a commissioner.

“I want to say to Billy that I certainly have been praying for you and your family,” Coleman said. “I hope that you recover quickly so you can get down to Moral Monday.”

Contact Joe Killian

at 373-7023, and follow

@joekillian on Twitter.

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