City's 'broken-hearted' by employee's death

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Jul. 9—ANDERSON — Stephen "Gabby" Cunningham is the second city worker to die on the job since 2009, according to city officials.

"The city of Anderson is broken-hearted by the tragic death of Mr. Cunningham," Terri Austin said in an email. She is the city's public information officer and media affairs director.

"He was a valued, long-time employee of the Parks Department. ... Our condolences and prayers go out to his family."

A city police officer found Cunningham, 64, dead on a sidewalk just after 8 a.m. Wednesday near the Southside public swimming pool.

Cunningham appeared to be mixing pool chemicals at the pool, 4530 S. Madison Ave., and was overcome by fumes, said Madison County Coroner Dr. Troy Abbott.

An official cause of death is pending an autopsy scheduled for Friday, he said.

In 2009, city street crew worker Dale Jones was struck by a car and killed while cleaning debris from Scatterfield Road near Ind. 32. Anderson renamed Baxter Road to Dale Keith Jones Road in his honor.

His death had been the only previous one since 1988, Austin said.

She declined to comment when asked if Cunningham was wearing any protective equipment while working at the pool the morning of his death. She also did not answer questions about any city requirements to use safety equipment when working with pool chemicals.

"The city is still investigating the circumstances surrounding his death and will not be making any public statements until the appropriate departments and staff have had a chance to review the coroner's report and any additional documentation," she said.

The state does not require wearing a respirator for anyone handling chemicals for a public pool, said Carl Malone, superintendent for Muncie Parks Department, However, such handlers must be certified.

Cunningham's death was reported to the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration the day he died, Austin said.

Follow Traci L. Miller @_TraciMiller on Twitter, email her at, or call her at 765-640-4805.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting