Farm death in rural Avoca ruled accidentalAVOCA — Even without a report from the coroner’s office, the Murray County Sheriff’s Office is considering the death of Lee Pick, 63, of rural Avoca, a farm accident.
By: Justine Wettschreck, Worthington Daily Globe
AVOCA — Even without a report from the coroner’s office, the Murray County Sheriff’s Office is considering the death of Lee Pick, 63, of rural Avoca, a farm accident.
Murray County Chief Deputy Randy Donahue said law enforcement is hoping to have an official report back by the end of the week, but unless something in the report tells them differently, the death will be ruled accidental.
The body of Pick, a farmer, was discovered Friday by a neighbor, who became concerned when he had not seen Pick for a couple of days. Several people had noted Pick’s vehicle by the side of road for a day or more. The neighbor went looking and found Pick in a field at 1986 91st Street.
“There was a time delay between when he actually died and when he was found,” Donahue said Tuesday.
Pick’s funeral is today in Alton, Iowa. According to his obituary, he died last Wednesday.
Pick was apparently clearing a field using a skid loader that, according to Donahue, didn’t possess some of the safety equipment found on newer models.
“We feel that he was going across a plowed field with the bucket up, carrying a load of rocks,” he explained. “It must have lurched forward, throwing him out of the seat. There was no bar or cage to prevent him from being thrown out. The skid loader came to rest on top of him. It was an equipment accident.”
Donahue said the two most common causes of farm injuries he has seen since going into law enforcement in 1984 have involved power take-off shafts and skid loaders.
“And the older equipment doesn’t have the safety enhancements like the newer ones,” he added.
Pick was originally from the Alton area and served in the Iowa National Guard before moving to Avoca in 1973 to farm. He was an active member of St. Ann’s Church in Slayton and of the American Legion Post 0576 in Avoca.
During the Memorial Day program in Avoca on Monday, sponsored by the Avoca American Legion, a moment of silence was observed in Pick’s memory. He would have been 64 years old on Thursday.