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West Newton man drowns after tractor accident

| Tuesday, May 8, 2012, 7:40 a.m.

A West Newton man was killed Thursday in an accident involving a lawn tractor and an attached cart, according to the Westmoreland County Coroner's Office.

Alvin Lloyd Kearns Jr., 68, of Lowber Road, West Newton, died when the lawn tractor he was operating overturned and pinned him underneath in about two feet of water, causing him to drown, according to Deputy Coroner Joseph P. Musgrove.

State police also investigated the accident, which occurred about noon along Sewickley Creek, in Sewickley Township, about five miles east of West Newton.

Police and Musgrove said that the loaded cart pulled the tractor down a 10- to 12-foot embankment and the tractor landed on the victim.

There was no indication of how long Kearns was pinned or who discovered the accident and called for help.

Musgrove ruled that the cause of death was asphyxiation by drowning and the manner of death was accidental. There will be no autopsy, but toxicology tests are being conducted and will not be available for two to four weeks.

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