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Golf course employee killed in Bell Township mower accident

Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch
Bell Township Police Chief Curt Suprano (left) and Westmoreland County Detective Thomas Horan field questions regarding a fatal lawnmowing accident at Cherry Wood Golf Course in Bell Township on Tuesday, June 11, 2013.

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By Jodi Weigand

Published: Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 6:09 p.m.

A Leechburg man employed at a Bell Township golf course was killed Tuesday afternoon in a mowing accident, police said.

The Westmoreland County Coroner's Office identified the victim as Dennis D. Miller, 66, of Main Street.

Miller was cutting the grass at Cherry Wood Golf Course on the fairway near the 14th hole, when something caused the tractor to tilt backward, said Westmoreland County Detective Thomas Horan.

Miller fell into blades of a 7-gang reel mower being pulled behind the tractor, according to the coroner's office.

“He was wound up into the tractor blades,” Horan said.

The accident happened at about 3:50 p.m. on the Truxall Road course. Deputy Coroner Joshua C. Zappone pronounced Miller dead at the scene.

A ruling on the cause and manner of death is pending an autopsy to be completed by Dr. Cyril H. Wecht and Pathology Associates on Wednesday.

The area being mowed is not hilly, Horan said, and it was unclear what caused the tractor to tilt.

The employee had been working for about an hour before the accident. He was found minutes later by another employee, according to Horan.

No golfers were on the course in that area at the time, said Bell Township police Chief Curt Suprano.

Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or jweigand@tribweb.com.

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