Law enforcement officers and educators in Newton County are remembering a former colleague who died in a construction accident at the Motiva Refinery in Port Arthur.
Stewart Shaver, 41, was a probation officer in Newton County for about ten years. He also served on the school board in Newton for about 7 years until last May, when he decided not to seek re-election.
Shaver died Monday when a 50,000 pound counterweight fell from a crane and landed on him at Motiva.
Shaver was employed by Becon, a contractor working on a $7 billion expansion project that will make Motiva the nation’s largest refinery.
“He had an easy side to him,” Newton County Sheriff Joe Walker told KFDM News in describing Shaver.
But Sheriff Walker says his friend, Stewart Shaver, had another side as well.
“In the courtroom Stewart was all business,” said Walker. “When he dealt with his probation people it was all business. I’ve seen him also help those folks that are on probation.”
Probation work meant a lot to Shaver. He also served on the Newton school board for seven years, trying to reach kids so he didn’t end up dealing with them in his other line of work.
Shaver was well known around the Newton community. Just a few days ago he was at the baseball field cheering on his son. His daughter also goes to school in Newton.
“He was a good dad,” said Walker. “A typical father. He was there with them and loved them.”
Sheriff Walker had to deliver the news of what happened to Shaver’s family.
“One part of my job that I just utterly hate is to deliver a death message, and it was not taken well.”
But Sheriff Walker says the family can take solace in Shaver’s work with probationers, with school kids, and youngsters in little league, and know the community will remember.
OSHA, Bechtel-Jacobs and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the fatal accident.