Police and emergency medical service personnel saved the life of a farm worker whose body got caught in a large piece of machinery at the Shade Trees Nursery in Jamesport Saturday morning.
At about 9 a.m., the Riverhead Town police received a 911 call from the nursery’s location on Herricks Lane. Responding officers found the man’s upper body and right arm trapped in an irrigation hose reel machine. The victim was unconscious and was not breathing, police said.
With the help of other farm workers, police were able to free the man and immediately began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on him.
Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps. personnel took over CPR when they arrived and the victim regained a pulse. They rushed him to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead. Police reported Saturday afternoon that the victim was in stable, but serious condition.
Police did not publicly identify the victim or provide his age.
The Riverhead Town police detective division are investigating the accident, as is the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which investigates all fatal or serious industrial accidents. The Jamesport Fire Department also responded.
The North Fork has been rocked by farming accidents in the not so recent past. In 2018, Lyle Wells, an 11th generation farmer and a leader in the farming community, was killed when he became trapped in a manure spreader while working alone on his Aquebogue farm.
Shade Trees Nursery is a family-owned business that includes a wholesale and retail nursery and over 130 acres of growing fields. A garden center and saddlery is run on the nearby Main Road property. The Caracciolos, who also have a landscape design business, proudly display photographs of their farming team on their website. One group photo says, “The hardest working nursery crew you will find.”