Man killed when tractor overturned in Palm Harbor identified

(Source: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office)

PALM HARBOR, Fla. (WFLA) — The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is conducting a work-related death investigation in Palm Harbor.

(Source: Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office)

Crews were called to the intersection of Lake St. George Drive and Chatham Drive in Palm Harbor just before 2 p.m. for the incident.

The Palm Harbor Fire Department tells News Channel 8 a tractor fell over and landed on a person.

The victim was identified as Steven Brakenwagen, 26, of Obrien.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Brakenwagen and his co-worker, both employed by Natur Chem, were taking turns driving the tractor and spraying vegetation in the power-line easement.

Brakenwagen was driving the tractor in the wooded area as his co-worker took a break.

When Brakenwagen didn’t return, the co-worker went to check on him and found the tractor overturned in a deep hole, with Brakenwagen trapped underneath and unresponsive.

Brakenwagen was pronounced dead at the same.

Rescue crews used a crane and worked for approximately three hours to free him.

Deputies believed Brakenwagen did not see the embankment due to the vegetation.

Brakenwagen and his co-worker were contracted by Duke Energy to spray the vegetation on the Duke Energy property.

Deputies said the death appears accidental in nature. OSHA was notified of the death investigation.

The investigation is ongoing.

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