MOUNT HOPE, W.Va. — A Lincoln County man was killed Friday morning in a surface mining accident in Fayette County.

The state Office of Miner’s Health, Safety, and Training confirms Thurman Watts, 34, of Harts, died when the dozer he was operating drove off a high wall at the mine at around 12:57 a.m. Friday.

The accident occurred at Revelation Energy’s Revelation S7 mine near Mount Hope. Watts was a dozer operator.

Investigators with the state and federal Mine Safety and Health Administration will be conducting investigations.

Governor Jim Justice issued the following statement Friday:

“Cathy and I are deeply saddened today after learning of the death of one of our coal miners in Fayette County. It’s heartbreaking when we hear that one of our coal miners has lost their life while on the job. Please join us in praying for the family, friends, and co-workers of Thurman A. Watts and all of our hard working and dedicated coal miners in West Virginia.”

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin also released a statement:

“All of West Virginia is heartbroken to learn of the loss of Thurman A. Watts today. Yet again, we are reminded of the incredible sacrifices our coal miners and their families make every day. Gayle and I join the entire state in sending our thoughts and prayers to the Watts family during this difficult time.”