A North Carolina teen tragically dies on his first day on the job when he was dragged into a wood chipper, according to Herald Online. At approximately 12:37 p.m. on Saturday, Mason Scott Cox, 19, of Gastonia was cutting down trees and feeding them into the wood chipper, a machinery used to cut trees into small pieces, on Hawthorne Road in Kings Mountain where he was working as a subcontractor for Crawford Tree Service out of Belmont.
His first day on the job seemed to be going smooth as he was cutting down trees in a yard and feeding the trees into the wood chipper. However, things quickly went awry when Cox, who recently graduated from Ashbrook High School, decided to kick part of a tree into the machinery. Although he was working “side by side with two experienced employees,” it didn’t impede the teen from getting killed as he was dragged into the wood chipper. Emergency services were called to the location, but there was nothing they could do. Cox’s body was found inside of the machine and he was pronounced dead at the scene. His death was ruled an accident and investigators suspect no foul play.
“It was his first day on this job. He was trying to find work and he had been putting in applications,” said Cox’s mother Debra Sisk. She said that when Kings Mountain police officials notified her of her son’s death later that afternoon, she “just started screaming when I found out how he died. It’s bad enough that’s he’s gone.”
“I loved him very much, and I’m going to miss him very much.”
According to WBTV, Cox’s family has no intentions of contacting the company the teen was working for, and have stated that they are not angry at the company for what took place. But they do want to know how the teen managed to get dragged into the wood chipper when he was supposed to have been supervised as it was his first day on the job. And according to the teen’s mother, Cox had “limited experience in the tree removal industry.”
— Alex Giles WBTV (@AlexGilesNews) December 7, 2015
When John Crawford, the owner of Crawford Tree Service, which has been in business since 2004 and claims to be a reliable company on their website, spoke to reporters via telephone, he stated that he has no clue as to how the accident occurred as he was not present. His only guess is that as Cox was kicking part of the tree into the wood chipper, a piece of his clothing must have gotten caught by a limb and he was dragged into the machine. He also stated that “I’ve been in the business for 26 years. I’ve had one other accident where a person was injured. Mason Cox was working side by side with two experienced employees” and wasn’t executing any tasks that was “too difficult for a beginner.”
Crawford stated that after Cox’s untimely death, he hasn’t been able to sleep and he is “sick from it.” He went on to say that “I would trade places with that child right now.” Initially, Jon was reluctant to hire the teen but only did so as a favor to Cox’s cousin, an employee at Crawford Tree Service, who asked Jon to hire Cox for the weekend as a subcontractor as he was looking to earn extra money.
RIP Mason! You are in a better place now! Prayers for the Cox family
— Courtney Lee⚓ (@CourtneyAly) December 7, 2015
R.I.P to Class of 2015 alumnus Mason Cox. Prayers go out to his family for strength💚
— AHS ALUM ’15 (@ZooCrew2015) December 7, 2015
Although the teen’s death was ruled an accident, the North Carolina Department of Labor has opened an investigation to uncover if the health and safety standards had been violated. In the meantime, Crawford Tree Service will be temporarily closed until further notice.
[Image via Shutterstock]