Troopers are investigating the death of a farmer who was killed while fixing farm equipment in a field outside Laurel.
Police say it happened around 2:30 p.m. on Friday, as a 61-year-old Parsonsburg man was operating a tractor with a square baler attached in a field located near Whitesville Road. Police say a “Bale Bandit” was also attached, which is large piece of equipment that bands twenty bales together before discharging them as a single block onto the ground behind the machine.
According to police, the man encountered an error with the Bale Bandit and called his 27-year-old son to help fix the problem. After clearing bales from the machine, his son told 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.
Police say it appears the father possibly saw 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.