GLENVILLE – A local farmer was killed Monday when the bucket of his skid loader came down on top of him.
Bruce Mittag, 65, was working between a hay field and a plowed field when the accident happened.
“There doesn’t seem to be any logical reason for it to happen, but of course we don’t know what happened immediately after he got off the skid loader and what sort of stuff he was doing before,” said Bob Kindler, an investigator with the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office. “There’s no way to know that.”
A skid loader is a small, highly maneuverable piece of farming equipment with lift arms that will take a wide variety of attachments, like snow blowers, mowers, stump grinders, pallet forks and backhoes.
The investigation is ongoing, and no information has been released yet about the specific machinery involved in the accident. Early skid loaders were not as safe as the modern variety, with operators in close proximity to moving booms and buckets.
Modern skid loaders usually have more safety features, like an enclosed cab protecting drivers from moving parts. Mittag’s death occurred after he had already gotten out of the farm implement.
Fatal farm accidents are not common in Freeborn County, but they do occur.
“I don’t know when the last one would have been,” Kindler said.
Funeral services for Mittag will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Myrtle, with visitation Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home and one hour prior to services at the church.