A 58-year-old Hoskins man was killed and a Norfolk man injured as a result of an accident late Tuesday afternoon on Nucor Steel plant property.
“We’re all still in shock about what happened,” said Jeff Haase, manager of Tube City IMS, which is a public company that services steel mills, such as Nucor, across the nation. It has operated in Norfolk for about 15 years.
Killed in the accident was 58-year-old Perry Hoemann, who was an independent contractor.
“I’ve only known him for about a year, but Perry was a very, very good guy,” Haase said Wednesday morning.
Hoemann was killed when he was struck by a large piece of steel as he worked to dismantle and salvage a large piece of old steel equipment at Nucor, said Mike Unger, Stanton County sheriff.
Working with Hoemann on the project were two Tube City employees, including 49-year-old Harold “Junior” Claussen of Norfolk, who was injured in the accident.
“It happened so quick,” Claussen said Wednesday morning while still a patient at Faith Regional Health Services in Norfolk. “I was lucky — plain and simple.”
Claussen said his injuries were not severe and he expected to be released from the hospital on Thursday. “I haven’t seen the doctor yet today, but that’s what I’m thinking,” he said Wednesday.
According to the Stanton County sheriff’s office, both Hoemann and Claussen were cutting a counter weight made of steel off the old piece of machinery when the weight broke loose and struck them and the payloader they were standing in.
Hoemann was pronounced dead at the scene, Unger said. The accident occurred about 4:15 p.m. Tuesday.
Claussen was taken to Faith Regional by ambulance. The Nucor emergency response team and Life Net medical helicopter also responded to the scene.
Unger was in Omaha on Wednesday where an autopsy was to be conducted on Hoemann.