Friday, May 21, 2004

15 Year Old Killed in Mulcher

Yet another "freak" accident:
He was 15, his relatives said, not old enough for a driver's license. He had yet to even shave. But he was eager to work -- to buy a Ford Mustang, bright yellow, and a big house with a pool for his family. And when he got his next paycheck, he told his younger cousins, they would have a pizza party and go to the fair around the corner from his Wheaton home.

Instead, three weeks after he found work, Michael Francisco Barrios is a case file at the Maryland medical examiner's office, a victim of a freak accident Tuesday in North Potomac. During a landscaping job, authorities said, he fell into the grinding machinery of a mulch-spreading truck. A co-worker found his remains a short while later.
As I've written before, the words "freak" and "accident" imply "unexpected." This is clearly not the first worker who has fallen into a grinder -- which is why 15-year olds aren't allowed to operate them.

According to the employer, TopMulch, Barrios had papers showing that he was 17.