VISALIA, Calif. (AP) — A citrus worker in California’s Central Valley has died after a 600-pound blade from a wind machine broke loose and hit him.
The Fresno Bee says 53-year-old Richard Escobedo was fatally injured on Jan. 3 at an orchard near Visalia.READ MORE: Raging Fire Tears Through 100-Year-Old Modesto Lumber Yard
Wind machines circulate warmer air to prevent orchards from freezing.
Escobedo’s brother, George Escobedo, says he was told his brother was shutting down the machine when it began vibrating badly and the propeller fell off and struck him.READ MORE: Several Dogs Rescued In Raid Of Alleged Fighting Dog Breeder In El Dorado County
Escobedo worked at Wonderful Citrus, a division of The Wonderful Company, the nation’s largest citrus grower. The Bee says the company was cited for two accidents in 2016.
Wonderful says it’s investigating the accident and will take any steps necessary to prevent a recurrence.MORE NEWS: Victor Ponce, Fugitive Accused Of Lewd Acts With Child In Sacramento, Arrested In Mexico
State regulators also are investigating.