Skip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.

Helena car wash 'devastated' by accident that severed worker's leg

Woody's Car Wash

Woody's Car Wash at Cedar Street and Montana Avenue in Helena. 

Woody's Carwash in Helena reopened for business Thursday, following a Tuesday afternoon accident in which a 46-year-old worker lost his leg.

Federal safety officials have been notified of the accident, the businesses co-owner said Thursday, adding Woody's would update the community on efforts to aid the victim, who was taken to St. Peter's Health.

“We take our workplace safety obligations seriously and were devastated by the accident and the injury to our employee,” Matt McCullough, who owns Woody's Carwash along with his father-in-law Randy Wood, said in an email.

He said the accident has been reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is part of the U.S. Department of Labor and ensures safe working conditions for workers. He said Thursday that Woody's had talked to OSHA officials.

“To avoid any such incident in the future, we immediately modified the equipment involved in the injury,” McCullough wrote in an email. “We also immediately reported the incident to OSHA and have been working with safety officials to determine what other steps may be beneficial.”

OSHA officials did not return a call Thursday seeking comment.

The Helena Fire Department was called to Woody’s Carwash at 12:48 p.m. Tuesday for a report of a person who lost a leg, Assistant Chief of Operations Mike Chambers said. He said the worker got his leg caught in machinery and a bar severed his lower leg.

McCullough said due to the quick actions of employees and customers, “we were able to mitigate the immediate impact of the injury as much as possible.”

“As many people have already asked, we will let the entire Helena community know how you can join us in helping our employee as he recovers,” McCullough said in the email.

On Thursday, a long line of cars was seen at the business at Cedar Street and Montana Avenue.

“Woody’s has been a family-run business in Helena for 27 years, and we appreciate the loyalty of our customers and the expressions of concern and support for us and our injured employee over the last couple of days,” he said. “We are back open to allow the rest of our great crew to get back to work. We look forward to seeing you soon and we thank you for your prayers and support for our entire crew.”

The Montana Department of Labor and Industry said Montana employers reported 13,700 OSHA injuries and illnesses in 2019, with 11,500 of those in the private industry. In 2018, 14,100 recordable injuries and illnesses were reported.

Montana had 38 work-related fatal injuries in 2019, an increase from 28 in 2018. Transportation incidents were the leading cause of those fatal injuries, accounting for 19, or half of the year’s fatalities.

Assistant editor Phil Drake can be reached at 406-231-9021.


Get local news delivered to your inbox!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News