MILVERTON — A 12-year-old boy died after being struck by a large hay bale that fell from a higher level in the family barn on June 19.
Samuel Zehr and his older brother, 14-year-old Clayton, were feeding goats on different levels of a barn when a bale of hay fell onto Samuel.
Samuel was transported to hospital, and later pronounced dead.
Hours later, his father, Jonathon Zehr, who farms at Milverton, told the Stratford-Beacon-Herald that falling bales are always a concern. “When you have big bales like that and possible chances of one toppling, I always try to monitor that and (put) the bales down in a manner they can handle them. We’re not sure how it happened, because nobody was with him.”
Samuel is survived by his parents, Jonathon and Shirley Anne, his siblings Clayton, Arlene, and Sharon, and was predeceased by his sister, Angela.
Samuel was the third child to die in a farm accident this year. Two Mennonite children died in unrelated accidents in early April. Most children who die in accidents on the farm in Ontario are between the ages of one and four, and most accidents are either rollovers or run overs.
This was the sixth-farm related death in Western Ontario this year. A 21-year-old farmer was killed in April this year in a highway accident, a truck driver dropping off a load at a grain elevator died after his truck rolled onto him this April, and a dairy farm worker was found dead in a manure pit in the London area in March.