Farmer killed in accident near Laurel

Whitesville Road near Laurel (Photo: Google maps)
Whitesville Road near Laurel (Photo: Google maps)

LAUREL, DELAWARE (7/9/2016) A 61-year-old man was killed while fixing his farm equipment near Laurel on Friday, the Delaware State Police reported this morning.

The Parsonsburg, Maryland, farmer was using a tractor with a square baler attached in a field in the 11000 block of Whitesville Road about 2:30 p.m.

Behind the square baler was a “Bale Bandit,” which police said is a 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,” Master Cpl. Gary Fournier said.

“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,” Fournier said.

He said detectives are still investigating but there was no sign of foul play. The body was turned over to the Delaware Division of Forensic Science for autopsy.

“The name of the victim will not be released as is DSP practice when investigating these types of industrial incidents,” Fournier said.