North Carolina Teen Killed In Wood Chipper Accident, Police Say

| by Jared Keever
Mason Cox With Graduation Balloons.Mason Cox With Graduation Balloons.

A North Carolina man was killed Dec. 5 after he was accidentally pulled into a wood chipper, authorities said.

Mason Scott Cox, of Gastonia, North Carolina, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police determined his death was an accident. The state's labor department will be investigating the incident, according to WBTV News.

The 19-year-old’s mother, Debra Sisk, told the news station she wants to know whether her son was being supervised properly, considering the accident occurred during his first day on the job.

“I just started screaming when I found out how he died,” she added. “It's bad enough that's he's gone.”

Cox was working that day for Crawford Tree Service. 

John Crawford, the business owner, told The Charlotte Observer that Cox was working as a subcontractor. Cox’s cousin is a full-time employee with the tree service and had reportedly asked the owner if Cox could join them on the job Dec. 5 to earn some extra money. Crawford said he reluctantly agreed. 

He told WBTV that Cox wasn’t working at any tasks that a beginner shouldn’t have been able to perform. 

“I've been in the business for 26 years,” Crawford added. “I've had one other accident where a person was injured. Mason Cox was working side by side with two experienced employees ... The limb must have grabbed a piece of his clothing and took him into the chipper."

The North Carolina labor department is investigating the incident, according to WBTV. 

Crawford said he is going to close his business temporarily. 

“I have not slept," he said. "I am sick from it. I would trade places with that child right now.”

Cox’s family told WBTV they are not angry and have no plans to contact the company, but they do want to know how the accident happened.

Sources: The Charlotte Observer, WBTV / Photo credit: Submitted photo via WBTV News