Tuesday, September 10, 2002/lk
A Lower Valley orchard worker was crushed to death by a tractor on Saturday evening.
Serafin Rodriguez Rivera, 47, was pronounced dead at the scene on Eastside Road after falling off the front forks of the farm equipment. The accident occurred while he was being given a ride back to his Paasch Drive quarters by his friend, Omar Monge, 28.
According to Hood River sheriff reports, Monge had brought Rivera to the property of Bruce Dethman to help repair a broken sprinkler pipe earlier that afternoon. When that problem was fixed, he decided to give Rivera a tractor ride back to his home on an adjoining property. However, during that journey Rivera fell and Monge was allegedly unable to stop the equipment before running over him.
Dethman was then notified of the situation and immediately called 9-1-1 for help. Deputies arrived a few minutes later, accompanied by Pine Grove firefighters and officials from the Oregon State Patrol. But rescuers could not resuscitate Rivera and he was prounced dead at the scene by the medical examiner. Rivera was transported to Anderson’s Tribute Center in Hood River.
An autopsy in Portland on Monday revealed that he died from massive internal injuries. No charges have been filed and the case has been forwarded to Hood River District Attorney John Sewell for further review.