An employee at a Spotsylvania trucking company was killed Friday when another employee who didn’t realize he was under a tractor-trailer drove the rig over him, police said.

John Patterson, 54, of Spotsylvania was dead at the scene when county deputies and emergency workers arrived at 8509 Jefferson Davis Highway in the Thornburg area about 1:10 p.m., Sheriff’s Capt. Jeff Pearce said. The business listed at that address is E.F. Thompson Inc., a freight shipping and trucking business.

According to Pearce, the 48-year-old driver of the rig had discussed a mechanical problem with Patterson before going into the business and leaving the truck running.

The driver returned and got into the truck to move it to another area of the parking lot to work on it, Pearce said. He was unaware that Patterson was already underneath the vehicle, working on the brake lines. The victim was run over by the rear wheels of the truck.

County detectives and traffic division deputies are investigating the accident, Pearce said, and preliminary reports indicate that the incident was simply a tragic accident. No charges have been filed.

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Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

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