Longtime cotton gin worker, 67, killed in tractor accident - Valley Morning Star : Local News

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Longtime cotton gin worker, 67, killed in tractor accident

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Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 11:06 pm

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 press 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.