Authorities identify worker killed in accident at Shaw Industries in Dalton, Ga.

Shaw Industries, a giant flooring company in Northwest Georgia, is one of a number of huge companies that have imported vinyl and veneer tile, ceramics, cork and other wood from Asia, Latin America and Europe to incorporate into flooring planks. Susan Ferriss/Center for Public Integrity

A 51-year-old Shaw Industries plant worker died Monday night in an accident involving a carpet machine.

Bruce Frazier, spokesman for the Dalton (Ga.) Police Department, said via email on Tuesday that the victim of Monday's fatal accident was identified as 51-year-old Jesus Pimentel.

"He apparently got caught in a piece of machinery," Frazier said. The police department is not conducting an investigation since the death was accidental, he said.

Frazier said the accident happened around 9 p.m. Monday. Hamilton EMS and the Dalton Fire Department responded to the incident, but fire officials said firefighters went to the scene only in support of EMS.

Shaw Industries confirmed that Pimentel worked at the company's plant No. 23 on Abutment Road in Dalton, Shaw spokeswoman Susan Farris said Tuesday in an emailed statement on the accident.

"There is nothing more important to Shaw than the health and safety of every associate and we are investigating this incident," Farris said. "The plant will be temporarily shut down during this time. Our thoughts are with the associate's family during this difficult time."

Farris said Pimentel had worked for Shaw Industries since 2007. Officials said he had a wife and daughter.

Whitfield County Coroner Greg Bates said Tuesday that it appeared Pimentel got caught between a machine's moving part and a stationary steel I-beam. Bates said the cause of death was blunt-force trauma to the head.

"Apparently there was a piece of carpet stuck in the machine and they tied a rope around it," Bates said.

"[Pimentel] was up on a catwalk and they were going to throw him that rope so that he could pull the piece of carpet out that was stuck. When they threw him that rope, he missed it," Bates said. "He bent over to get it and he bent over between a moving part of a machine and a steel I-beam. The machine he bent down beside shifted."

Bates said he had not yet been contacted by Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials about the accident, but that he expected federal officials would be in touch since it was an industrial accident.

Farris said the plant will reopen today with the first shift.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton or at