City Worker Dies in
Coleman Park Accident
By: Bobby McDonald
A longtime City of Sulphur Springs worker, Francisco Javier "Frankie" Melendez, was pronounced dead at Hopkins County Memorial Hospital, following a search and rescue mission at Coleman Park, where he was working in a sewer manhole. Melendez had entered the manhole to unplug the pipe, his foot became stuck in the pipe, when water rushed into the area, trapping him inside the pipe. An emergency call was received shortly after 8:00 a.m., reporting the man in trouble. Emergency responders were on the scene immediately and began attempting to resue their co-worker, by pumping the water from the manhole, but couldn't stop the flow of water.
Melendez was rescued from the manhole shortly after 9:00 a.m. when CPR was immediately begun, as he was taken to Hopkins County Memorial Hospital. Additional efforts, because of the water temperature being cold, were performed with hopes of transporting him via medical helicopter from Tyler were made, but all efforts to save the man's life failed.
Funeral services for Melendez, who had worked for the city for a number of years and was described as a very valued employee and "always having a smile on his face," are pending with West Oaks Funeral Home.
Justice of the Peace Ronny Glossup, who pronounced death at approximately 10:45 a.m., ordered an autopsy, which is standard procedure in accidental deaths.