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Two Van Buren Farmers Crushed To Death Thurs.


Posted By: Volunteer: Sherri
Date: 7/8/2017 at 14:18:03

**Handwritten: Rec-Rep. 7 April 1966

Two Van Buren Farmers Crushed To Death Thurs.

Two Van Buren County farmers were crushed to death Friday at 6:30 p.m. when a large crawler tractor rolled backward pinned them against the stump and the trunk of a tree which had just been felled.

Dead are Allan Humble, 33, and James Hurley, 62, who were working on the Hurley farm four miles south of the intersection of Highways 1 and 2 near Keosauqua.

The men were clearing an area for a large pond to serve both families as a water reservoir and recreation facility. The 200-acre Hurley farm and the 875-acre Humble farm adjoin each other between Cantril and Mt. Sterling.

The last tree in the clearing project, a large measuring some two and a half feet in diameter, had just been felled by Donald Carruthers of Keosauqua when the accident happened.

Carruthers said Humble got off the large Caterpillar which had a bulldozer attachment and the victins were preparing to put a cable around the tree to haul it off when the tractor rolled backward, pinning both men.

Dr. R.W. Gustafson, Van Buren County medical Examiner, said both men were killed instantly.

Carruthers, whose teen-age son, Sam, was with him at the time, said the motor of the tractor, a D-8 model, was left running, but that the brakes were still set tightly as he attempted to free the men.

A neighbor of the victims, Richard Daugherty, said he had helped the two men all winter in clearing the area for the proposed pond. He was with them all day Friday cutting trees, but his chain saw broke late in the afternoon and had gone home.

Carruthers, who also owns a chain saw, was called by the men to come remove the last tree. He had previously helped them on other occasions.

The bodies were taken to the Catcott Funeral Home in Keosauqua Mr. Hurley's body later was transferred to the Miller Funeral Home at Farmington.

Source: Van Buren Co. Genealogical Society Obituary Book J, Page 43, Keosauqua Public Library, Keosauqua, IA


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