Four ag related deaths in Yakima County this year - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Four ag related deaths in Yakima County this year

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YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash.-- Last week we told you about man who died while working at Chief Orchards in Wapato. Well just a few days later, another agriculture related workplace death in town.

Now, the Department of Labor and Industries is investigating and they're concerned with the recent spike.

This latest accident happened this past Saturday outside of Wapato at Consolidated Fruit of Borquin Road.

An L&I spokeswoman says a worker there was moving stuff with a three-wheeled vehicle when it tipped over on top of him.

The man has been identified as 23-year-old Fracisco Mendez of Toppenish.

This is the forth ag related workplace death in Yakima County this year, the third in just two weeks.

And L&I says it's an alarming number since last year there weren't any ag related deaths in the county.

"There's a lot of machinery and tractors being operated. And it's just absolutely essential that the operators be properly trained on how to operate tractors safely," said Elaine Fischer, a spokeswoman for L&I.

Fischer says L&I is still investigating the three most recent accidents but says that safety needs to be a top priority and workers need to always remember that when they're working around machinery things can, and do happen.

Three of the four workplace deaths this year involved either a tractor or some sort of farming vehicle.

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