Watervliet man dies in farming accident

Posted at 11:16 AM, Nov 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-30 11:16:05-05

BAINBRIDGE TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A Watervliet man is dead after an apparent farming accident Wednesday evening.

Michigan State Police say they were called to a cut cornfield in the 9400 block of Territorial Road about 7:20 p.m. Co-workers took first responders to the body of Rafael Alonzo Zarate, 62.

Police say the initial investigation reveals that Zarate was chopping the remain corn stubble with a “brush hog.”  Zarate was off the tractor and apparently reached across the power takeoff (PTO) portion of the machine.  At that point, Zarate’s clothing became wrapped up in the PTO and he was pulled into the machine and killed.

Police say Zarate was alone at the time of the accident.  He had last been seen early in the morning and police aren’t sure when the accident happened.