Charge laid over farm death

MATT BOWEN
Last updated 06:38 29/01/2014

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Wealleans Groundspreading has been charged in relation to an employee who was killed after being caught in a fertiliser spreader.

The Hinuera-based company is due to appear in the Morrinsville District Court today following Tyler Old's death on June 13, 2013.

Mr Old was found dead in the hopper of the Wealleans fertiliser truck at a property on Old Te Aroha Rd, Okauia, northeast of Matamata.

Emergency services rushed to the scene but Mr Old was dead, stuck in the machinery, when they arrived.

Property owner Stuart Witheford found Mr Old and raised the alarm.

He said Mr Old was on the last load of his run spreading chicken manure and woodshaving mixture on his farm.

Mr Witheford said there was a Wealleans Groundspreading team operating three trucks at the time of the incident on his dairy farm at the foot of the Kaimai Range.

WorkSafe NZ chief inspector investigations Keith Stewart said they have laid a charge under the Health and Safety in Employment Act in relation to the incident.

He would not reveal the party being charged or what the charge was citing the accused's right to seek suppression. But court documents show Wealleans will be in court today and WorkSafe NZ confirmed the court date was January 29.

Wealleans declined to comment on the charge yesterday.

Mr Old's mother, Michelle, said they didn't want anything to do with the case and a lawyer would be representing them at court.

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- Waikato Times

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