Death Investigation

Who:
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Patrol Operations Bureau

Palm Harbor Fire Rescue

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Steven R. Brakenwagen (Victim- Deceased)
DOB: 07/25/1991
22248 131st  Drive, Obrien, Florida

Levi McFatter (Co-worker- Uninjured)
DOB: 09/03/1988
2718 SE Country Club Road, Lake City, Florida

What:
Deputies are investigating a work-related accident after a tractor rolled over on a man in Palm Harbor. 

When:
Deputies responded at about 1:51 p.m. on Wednesday, August 23, 2017.

The victim was pronounced deceased at about 1:50 p.m. on Wednesday, August 23, 2017.

Where:
The incident occurred in the transmission easement for powerlines, approximately 300 feet east of Lake St. George Drive and Chatham Drive.

Why/How:
Deputies are investigating a work-related accident after a tractor rolled over on a man in Palm Harbor. 

At about 1:51 p.m. on August 23, 2017, deputies were called to the powerline easement approximately 300 feet east of Lake St. George Drive and Chatham Drive, in Palm Harbor, for a deceased person.

According to deputies, the victim 26-year-old Steven Brakenwagen and his co-worker 28-year-old Levi McFatter, both employed by Natur Chem, were taking turns driving a Kubota tractor and spraying vegetation in the powerline easement.

McFatter was taking a break while Brakenwagen was driving the tractor in the wooded area. When Brakenwagen did not return, McFatter went to check on him and found the Kubota tractor overturned in a deep hole, with Brakenwagen trapped underneath and unresponsive.

McFatter called 911 and paramedics from Palm Harbor Fire Rescue responded.

Brakenwagen was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Rescue crews utilized a crane and worked for approximately three hours to free the victim.

Deputies believe Brakenwagen did not see the steep embankment due to the thick vegetation. As the tractor rolled down the embankment, Brakenwagen was ejected and pinned underneath.

Brakenwagen and McFatter were contracted by Duke Energy to spray the vegetation on the Duke Energy property.

Deputies say the death appears accidental in nature.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was notified of the death investigation. 

Next of kin has been notified.

The investigation continues.

 

Posted by Travis Sibley Wednesday, August 23, 2017 7:39:00 PM Categories: Death Investigations

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