Thursday, October 20, 2016

Farmworker Killed By Tractor Operated By Brother on a lettuce field operated by Valley Pride Inc. Division of Oceanmist Farms

Farmworker Tragically Killed By Tractor Operated By Brother
BREAKING: The man was caught between the tractor and harvester, CHP officials said.

By Susan C. Schena (Patch Staff) - 

October 19, 2016 5:25 pm ET


MONTEREY COUNTY, CA – An agricultural worker died Tuesday afternoon when he was struck by a tractor his brother was operating at a field near Salinas, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Jorge Reyna Solorio, 37, was pinned down by a tractor and harvester in the field at Blanco and Davis roads around 2 p.m., CHP officials said.

His brother, Juan Reyna Solorio, 35, drove the tractor east toward the rear of a harvester where his older brother stood and didn't completely stop the vehicle, according to the CHP.

The older brother was caught between the tractor and harvester, CHP officials said.

Jorge Reyna Solorio was transported to Natividad Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead about an hour later, according to the CHP.

Investigators don't suspect drugs or alcohol were a factor in the collision.

Under an agreement with the Monterey County Sheriff's Office, the CHP will be investigating the incident since it was an unintended event involving a vehicle or mobile motorized machinery that led to injury or
death, regardless of whether or not it happened on a road, agency officials said.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating the accident on the field operated by Valley Pride Inc., Cal/OSHA spokeswoman Julia Bernstein said.

Valley Pride Inc. was working on a lettuce farm for Ocean Mist Farms, a Castroville-based business, company president Joe Pezzini said.

Operations have been suspended on the field pending the investigation and employees who reported to work today were moved to another location, according to Pezzini.

Tuesday's fatal accident was a first in Valley Pride's 30-year history, he said.

"Valley Pride had an accident on a Blanco Road ranch Tuesday that took the life of Jorge Reyna, a long time lettuce foreman. We are arranging grief counselors for the employees and family members. The cause of the
accident is under investigation," Pezzini said in a statement.

Jorge Reyna Solorio was responsible for supervising about 25 crew members in the harvesting unit and his two other brothers work for the company, according to Pezzini.

"We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and our grief goes out to his family," Pezzini said.

Valley Pride, Inc Division of Oceanmist Farms

Since 1987 Valley Pride, Inc. is one of California’s leading harvesting companies of high quality produce and is headquartered in Castroville, California, near Monterey Bay. Valley Pride, Inc. has harvesting operations throughout California and Arizona.