Delaware State Police

Farmer Killed in an Industrial Accident

Presented by Public Information Officer Master Corporal Gary Fournier

Laurel- Troopers are investigating the death of a farmer who was fatally injured while fixing farm equipment in a field outside Laurel.

The incident occurred at approximately 2:30 p.m. Friday July 8, 2016, as a 61-year-old Parsonsburg, Maryland man was operating a tractor, with a square baler attached in a field located near 11244 Whitesville Road. Attached behind the square baler was a “Bale Bandit”, which is large piece of equipment that bands twenty bales together before discharging them as a single block onto the ground behind the machine. The man encountered an error with the Bale Bandit and called upon his 27-year-old son to help fix the problem. After clearing bales from the machine, his son informed his father that he was going to activate the machine to reset it. As the son walked to the tractor to do this, his father took a seat on a nearby bale of straw. When the son entered the tractor and activated the machine, he heard a scream and turned to see his father trapped inside the Bale Bandit.

The investigation suggests the father possibly observed a broken band inside the machine and was attempting to remove it when the machine was activated. He was pronounced dead at the scene from multiple traumatic injuries.

Detectives are continuing their investigation. There are no signs of foul play. The body was turned over to the Delaware Division of Forensic Science. The name of the victim will not be released as is DSP practice when investigating these types of industrial incidents.

Released: 070916 0800

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