A Clinton County farmer died after his leg slipped into a grain auger Wednesday night, authorities said. The farmer, Gerard Buss, 53, of Beckemeyer, was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:25 p.m.
A safety shield on the auger, which dispenses cattle feed to the farm animals, had been removed by the farmer some time ago, David Moss, the Clinton County coroner said Thursday.
The shield had been removed because the feed sometimes was getting stuck in it. Moss declined to speculate what role, if any, the lack of a shield might have played in the accident.
Buss was discovered unconscious shortly after 5 p.m. by a deliveryman, who called for help. But Buss was dead when firefighters arrived. Buss bled to death, Moss said.
"It was a tragic scene," Moss said. "The family was very traumatized."
Buss had a wife and three children. He volunteered at Mater Dei High School when his children attended school there.
Several family members were at the scene when emergency responders removed Buss' body from the machine.