Timoteo Rivera was mowing grass at the Koch Pipeline facility when the cage on the mower caught a guy-wire attached to a pipe from an abandoned radio tower.
“From the evidence, it appears the pole was rusted at the bottom and when the guy-wire caught on the mower’s roll bar, it pulled the pole over on the right side of the mower,” said Sheriff Robert Bolcik. “The metal steps on the pole fell across the arm rest and punctured Mr. Rivera’s back.”
The pipe was approximately 20 feet long and was filled with concrete, according to the sheriff.
A nearby worker was shredding grass using a tractor with a bucket which was used to lift the pole off Rivera.
“It appears he was killed instantly,” said Lt. Gary Wright.
EMS medics began administering CPR on the severely injured worker and continued for 40 minutes.
Lorraine Lopez, justice of the peace, pronounced Rivera dead at the scene. Lopez said she ordered an autopsy.
“It was a very tragic accident,” Lopez said.
Rivera worked for Rodriguez Backhoe Service, according to Bolcik.