Widow of Zinc Miner Speaks Out

By: Kelli Parker
By: Kelli Parker

Morristown, Hamblen County (WVLT) - One East Tennessee wife is watching the mining story out of Utah closely, because just over a week ago, Brandy Nicole Marcum-Frederick lost her husband in a mining accident in Mascot.

Speaking out for the first time, this mother of two says she won't let her husband's death be in vain.

"When he told me my husband wasn't coming home, that was my biggest fear," Marcum-Frederick said.

As a fourth generation miner, 28-year-old Daniel Frederick was living the life he had always envisioned, a wife, two small children, and a job he lived for.

"I knew how dangerous his job was, but I couldn't tell him not to go," Marcum-Frederick said. "Everyday going to work he'd say 'baby there's chance I won't be coming home.' I never believed him. Oh my gosh, I never believed it."

But on Saturday July 28th, Daniel would tell his family good-bye for the last time. He was killed in a mine shaft in Mascot early Sunday morning. The U.S. Department of Labor says Daniel marks the 19th miner killed in Tennessee since 1996. It's a loss this young mother says could have been prevented.

"There are safety precautions in these cases that are not being taken, there's technology available, so there's no way these things should be happening," Marcum-Frederick said.

And now another scenario all too familiar for the Fredericks, for families in Utah.

"I feel for these where they are trapped I can't imagine I know how much hurt I'm going through," Marcum-Frederick said. "Keep hope there's still a really good chance they are coming out."

But for this young widow, her loss is bringing a new fight.

"The inspections are a big thing. They should do more of those, safety equipment should be kept more up to date and the short cuts need to quit," Marcum-Frederick said.

A fight to save the men who worked alongside Daniel.

"If my husband's death doesn't do anything else, make sure these guys are taken care of," Marcum-Frederick said.

Brandy tells WVLT Daniel's father also works at the mine where his son was killed. He hasn't returned to work yet. Brandy has also hired an attorney to oversee the investigation into her husband's death.

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