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Man's body recovered from Washington County reservoir

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By Timothy Puko
Thursday, July 4, 2013, 10:30 a.m.

Whenever snow filled Artie Artis's driveway, his neighbor Samuel Vignoli showed up to help.

Even well into his 80s, Vignoli spent the winters on his riding plow and spent the summers on his riding mower to take care of his neighbors, said Artis, 72. He was known around the neighborhood for his collection of heavy equipment, Artis said.

Vignoli, 87, of New Eagle died on Wednesday when the Bobcat he was using to help cut grass around a reservoir slid down a steep embankment into the water, according to Washington County Coroner Timothy Warco.

State police are investigating the death.

“He was a wonderful neighbor. We lost a great person,” said Artis of Marion Street, who said that a member of Vignoli's family had just bought the Bobcat for him. “We call them his toys. And he couldn't wait to go out yesterday to see that (Bobcat).”

The accident happened at the former Maple Creek Mine in Fallowfield. Vignoli was reported missing about 4:30 p.m., and emergency responders recovered his body about midnight.

Units responded from Fallowfield, Peters, North Strabane, East Bethlehem and the Valley Inn fire departments; dive teams from Greensburg and the Fort Cherry and Tri-Community Ambulance Service.

A statement from the coroner did not explain why Vignoli was cutting grass at the site. State police and Washington County dispatchers did not have further details on Thursday. Attempts to obtain comment from Vignoli's family were not successful.

Frye Funeral Home Inc. in Monongahela will handle funeral services. No details were immediately available.

Timothy Puko is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7991 or

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