Man killed in wood-chipping accident was decapitated
A Northern California man who was decapitated in a wood-chipping accident Thursday appears to have gotten stuck in rope while feeding something into the industrial-sized machine, authorities said.
Friends identified the victim as Martin Lara of Applegate, a foothill community about 45 minutes northeast of Sacramento.
Nevada County Chief Deputy Coroner Paul Schmidt told The Union newspaper of Grass Valley that a rope became wrapped around Lara's neck and beheaded him.
It does not appear that his body actually entered the wood-chipper, which was a large machine capable of processing full-size trees.
Brian Bixler, a wood-chip operator, said that the wood-chipping machines create a force that sucks brush in and it can be impossible to escape unless a worker's hand is on a shut-off switch.
"If it gets you and you don't have control of this bar, then there is no way of stopping it," he said.
-- Fox 40 Sacramento