Deputies: Man crushed by tree while operating excavator near Albany

(Photo provided by Linn County Sheriff's Office)

ALBANY, OR (KPTV) – Linn County deputies are investigating the death of a man who was crushed by a tree while operating an excavator near Albany.

The Linn County Sheriff’s Office says the incident occurred Friday at Olsen Honey Farms on Pirtle Drive. Just after 3:30 p.m., the Linn County 911 Center received a 911 call from a man screaming for help.

Deputies say the man would not answer the dispatcher’s questions and eventually was unresponsive on the phone. Dispatchers then used the 911 system to get a better location for the caller.

Deputies arrived in the area about 10 minutes later and started looking for the source of the call. They eventually found the man in a John Deere excavator.

Deputies say the man had been excavating a treed area on the farm when one of the large trees fell, crushing the cab of the excavator. The man was pinned inside and died at the scene.

The man was identified as 62-year-old Ronald Gary Oliver of Lebanon.

Several beer cans were found in the excavator and his personal vehicle, pointing to alcohol being a possible factor in the accident, according to deputies.

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