Tractor runs over, kills 67-year-old cotton gin worker - The Monitor: News

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Tractor runs over, kills 67-year-old cotton gin worker

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Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 2:13 am

HARLINGEN — A 67-year-old cotton gin worker was killed Wednesday after a tractor ran over him, Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio said.

Investigators believe Jose Isaias Leal of Progreso fell from the tractor about 7:30 a.m. at the Lyford Gin off Rangerville Road, Lucio said.

“He fell under the wheel and the tractor ran over him,” Lucio said at a news conference.

Lucio said there were no witnesses to the accident.

Co-workers found Leal’s body. Lucio said investigators could not determine why Leal fell from the tractor.

But Lucio said heart problems may have led to Leal — who had open-heart surgery about three years ago — to fall from the tractor.

“That could have contributed to it,” Lucio said.

Officials with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration met with cotton gin General Manager Gerald Milligan at the site of the accident Wednesday afternoon, said Karen Lucio, a clerk at the gin.

Milligan could not be reached for comment.

Authorities ran accident scene tape from a warehouse to two tractors at the gin Wednesday.

Leal had worked at the gin for about 20 years, the sheriff said.

fdelvalle@valleystar.com

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