Burned oil workers ‘not out of the woods,’ fundraising sites set up

WATFORD CITY - Co-workers of the men involved in Saturday's oilfield explosion that killed one and injured three are raising money for medical bills and other expenses.

Richard "Chad" Maheu is recovering in Regions Hospital in St. Paul after suffering severe burns at an oil well site in McKenzie County, N.D. Submitted photo
Justin Pyle is among the workers burned in an oilfield accident in McKenzie County, N.D. Submitted photo

WATFORD CITY – Co-workers of the men involved in Saturday’s oilfield explosion that killed one and injured three are raising money for medical bills and other expenses.

“The guys that are going through this, they’re still not out of the woods,” said April Crites of Wyoming, whose husband works with the men who were injured. “Everybody’s reaching out to lend a hand.”

Crites established a fundraiser on to help the families affected by Saturday’s incident. She plans to split the money equally among the four families and set a goal of $20,000.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration continues to investigate at the well site east of Watford City where a flash fire occurred Saturday morning while crews were servicing the well.

Johnny Stassinos, 52, Rock Springs, Wyo., died from his injuries Saturday afternoon at Trinity Hospital in Minot, the McKenzie County Sheriff’s Office said. He was a well operator who had been on the job since August 2012, according to OSHA.


“He was loved by all and a joy to work with,” Crites wrote on the fundraising website.

Daniel Montes, 28, Fruita, Colo., and Richard “Chad” Maheu, 27, Rock Springs, Wyo., suffered severe burns and are at Regions Hospital in St. Paul. Both had been listed in critical condition, the sheriff’s office said.

Justin Pyle, 40, Grand Junction, Colo., suffered burns to his face and was treated and released for his injuries.

Most of the men have children and the families are incurring a lot of expenses, including funeral costs and travel expenses and hotel rooms, Crites said.

She said she hopes the fundraiser will help with “the worries back at home as far as bills go and what the future’s going to bring.”

The fundraiser is available at .

Other supporters of the men have set up additional fundraisers.

Wyoming Energy Families established a site GoFundMe site at . A fund to benefit Maheu is at .


Stassinos, Maheu and Pyle worked for Most Wanted Well Service, according to OSHA. Montes worked for Sherwood Enterprises Inc.

OSHA has issued one serious violation to Most Wanted Well Service in the past five years, according to information on the OSHA website.

OSHA said an employee suffered fractures and lacerations from a fall in 2015 on an XTO well site south of Watford City. The injuries occurred when the worker was escaping from a platform during a blowout but the equipment did not have an adequate escape line, OSHA wrote in a summary of the incident. OSHA rated the gravity of the violation as a 10 on a scale of one to 10.

OSHA did not issue any violations to XTO.

Related Topics: ACCIDENTS
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