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Martinsburg man is crushed to death by hay bale

March 25, 2002|BY DAVE McMILLION

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Martinsburg man died Sunday after a large bale of hay he was trying to lift with an end-loader rolled down the arm of the tractor and pinned him in his seat, a Berkeley County medical examiner said.

Charles Bartgis, 64, of Apple Harvest Drive, was taken to City Hospital, where he was pronounced dead Sunday afternoon, said hospital officials and Berkeley County Medical Examiner Sandy Brining.

The accident occurred while Bartgis was working on a farm on W.Va. 45 west of Martinsburg near Rocky Knoll School, Brining said.

Bartgis was lifting a bale of hay weighing more than 500 pounds with the front-end loader, Brining said. The bale was not secured and it rolled down the arm of the tractor and trapped Bartgis while he was sitting in the seat of the tractor, she said.

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By the time paramedics from the Berkeley County Ambulance Authority and Baker Heights Volunteer Fire Department arrived, the hay bale had been removed, Brining said.

Paramedics were notified of the accident at 2:40 p.m. and arrived there five minutes later.

Brining said she did not know who owned the farm, which is located off Advent Drive.

Brining said she believes Bartgis was working for someone else.

Brining said she did not believe a police agency would be conducting an investigation. The accident was witnessed by other people working at the farm, Brining said.

Brining said she examined Bartgis at the hospital but did not go to the scene.

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