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Spencer County native dies following workplace accident

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By Randy Patrick | Landmark News Service

An employee at Flowers Baking Company (a division of Flowers Foods) in Bardstown died Tuesday morning after she was injured late Friday night.
According to Jefferson County Deputy Coroner Eddie Robinson, Leslie Elder, 39, of Valley View Drive, Bardstown, was pronounced dead at 11:32 a.m. at University Hospital, Louisville, as a result of multiple blunt force injuries to her torso.
The accident happened about 11:30 p.m. Friday at the bakery at 1755 Parkway Drive. Elder was trapped between two pieces of machinery, which Robinson described as a lift elevator and a vat.
Last Monday, Donna Hardesty, director of human resources for the local Flowers plant, said the company notified first responders immediately after the accident, and they arrived quickly.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with our employee and her family,” Hardesty said.
She said the company has begun an investigation of the accident.
“We’ve never had one like this before,” she added.
Elder was taken first to Flaget Memorial Hospital, and almost immediately flown by helicopter to University Hospital, Robinson said.
Ernie Pyle of the Bardstown-Nelson County Volunteer Fire Department said that when firefighters arrived just after 11:30 Friday night, the employee had already been freed from the equipment.
“All we did was assist EMS,” he said.
Robinson said the coroner’s office has not done an autopsy, and he doesn’t expect it will do one.
Elder is formerly of Spencer County. She is survived by her daughter, Grace Elder of Bardstown; her father, Dutch Elder of Taylorsville; a sister, Lee Ann (Destry) Naylor, of Jacksonville, Fla.; as well as her companion, Shawn McLaughlin.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Saturday, Jan. 19, at All Saints Catholic Church in Taylorsville, and burial followed in Valley Cemetery.
Greenwell-Houghlin Funeral Home in Taylorsville was in charge of arrangements.