Woman killed in accident at Bush Brothers’ facility

Local News

A woman was killed in an accident at the Bush Brothers’ plant in Dandridge on Monday morning, according to Jefferson County Sheriff Bud McCoig. 

The family of Shannon Smith says she was woman killed in the accident. A Bush Brothers’ representative said she was working with machinery when the accident happened. 

Smith’s family confirming that they’re processing the news of her death, and hope she is remembered for more than the accident. 

“We’re numb. Disbelief, trying to realize it’s reality. you’re waiting for her to walk in the door, you’re waiting for her to say, ‘Hey mom how are you doing?'” said Mary Landrum, Smith’s mother. 

Landrum says she spoke with Smith on the phone just a few hours before her death. At the time, she says Smith told her she was being harassed by a male coworker. 

“She says, ‘Ok Mom, I’m going to call you at 4 on my next break, Mom.’ I could tell she was crying for me to come there. But I couldn’t go, I knew they wouldn’t let me on the property but I felt like she’s crying mom I need you to come here,” said Landrum. 

Landrum described Smith as a go-getter, the life of any room, and a dedicated mother. 

She says as a child, they were a military family and moved around the country, even living in Germany. 

“You could see the little quirks in her, the little girl going into the woman into the teenager. You could see her personality just shine in her,” said Landrum. 

Smith’s bright personality is the reason Landrum knew something was wrong when they spoke. She said her daughter was asking for advice, the male coworker, she says, wanted to work on the machine where she was assigned and would not leave her alone. 

Landrum gave her advice: “You have to tell them because if you don’t you’ll get hurt, or somebody’s gonna get hurt. and that was my last conversation. That was it.” 

Smith left behind three children, now grown. Her daughters, Addie and Breanna, say they’ll remember her smile. 

“She taught me to be patient. I have a learning disability so she always taught me that even when bullies were mean to me that it was ok. That I always had family,” said Addie. 

The plant will be closed on Tuesday and counselors will be on hand when employees return.

The Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration says an investigation is ongoing.

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