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Prineville man killed in farming accident

Gordon Stroebel was loading hay bales onto a truck when the load shifted, fell, and struck him


by: LON AUSTIN - Crook County Fire and Rescue paramedics attempted life-saving measures on Gordon Stroebel after the accident.

A Prineville man was killed Monday afternoon when three hay bales fell off a truck bed and landed on him.

Around 2 p.m., Gordon Stroebel, 77, was loading large hay bales onto a flatbed truck in a field near the corner of North McKay Street and Northwest Peppermint Lane. The load shifted causing three of the bales to fall.

Responding deputies arrived to find Stroebel unconscious, and paramedics, who arrived at approximately the same time, attempted life-saving measures. An AirLife helicopter was dispatched to the scene, but Stroebel was pronounced deceased prior to its arrival.

According to Crook County Deputy Dave Tugman, each hay bale weighed approximately 1,400 pounds, and were three feet tall, three feet wide, and six feet long.

“They were the large ones,” he said.

Stroebel was working with another individual loading hay bales onto the truck when the accident occurred.

“They had a front-end loader — just a regular tractor,” Tugman said. “It has steel spikes on the end of it that they push through the bales and pick them up that way.”

Stroebel was standing near the truck as the other worker manned the tractor, stacking the bales three high, a commonly-used method.

“According to the witness, he had told him that he loaded them on there like that all the time,” Tugman said.

Over the course of his 30-year career in law enforcement, more than 10 which were spent in Crook County, Tugman has never encountered an accident of this nature. He noted that after investigating the accident, authorities still don’t know exactly how it happened.

“I think it is just one of those things,” he remarked.

When it comes to preventing accidents of this nature, Tugman suggested keeping a keen eye on the hay load as it mounts.

“I would certainly be more cautious when you are around bales that are sitting on a flatbed truck,” he added, “especially one with no sides.”

The Crook County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the Prineville Police Department and Crook County Fire and Rescue.



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