Lewis R. Nicely, a Highway Equipment Operator VI in VDOT's Staunton District, died on July 21, 1945. Mr. Nicely was born and spent his early years at Longdale Furnace. He is survived by his widow, two sons, and four daughters and four step-children. He had been employed by the Highway Department since September of 1932, and until recently had been part of Convict Camp #4 personnel, working on construction projects throughout the Staunton District.
At the time of the accident, he was employed as a shovel operator in Augusta County, and was cleaning clutches of a shovel when a spark from the starter or motor ignited fumes from gasoline he was using as a cleaner. The flames caught Mr. Nicely’s clothing and before anyone could reach him he was critically burned. He was rushed to the hospital where everything possible was done for him.