Independence, Minn. farmer dies after trapped in oat field combine

A “well-known and respected” farmer from Independence, Minn. was killed in an oat field after getting trapped in the auger head of a combine on Tuesday evening, West Hennepin Public Safety officials confirmed.

The West Hennepin Public Safety Department and the Maple Plain Fire Department reported to the 2100 block of County Road 92 S. in Independence at 5:37 p.m., and upon arrival, discovered 62-year-old Mark McCulley dead at the scene.

The cause of the incident remains under investigation, and a death investigation has been conducted by the West Hennepin Public Safety department and the Hennepin County medical examiner's office. No foul play is suspected.

"Mr. McCulley is a well-known and respected farmer of Independence. His death is a tragedy not only to his family and friends, but to our farming community in Independence and beyond,” West Hennepin Public Safety Director Gary Kroells said. "This is a cruel reminder for all of us as we enter into harvest season this fall.”

"Life is fragile and power equipment is dangerous,” he continued.

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