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Pinellas Deputies Investigate Work-Related Death

Work-Related Death | Pinellas Sheriff | TB Reporter

A tractor rolled over on him, according to the Pinellas sheriff.

PALM HARBOR – Deputies are investigating a work-related accident after a tractor rolled over on a man in Palm Harbor, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.

Steven R. Brakenwagen, 26, of O’Brien, an unincorporated community in Suwannee County, died at the scene.

Deputies were called to a power line easement about 300 feet east of Lake St. George Drive and Chatham Drive in Palm Harbor about 1:51 p.m. Wednesday (Aug. 23) for a report of a deceased man. Mr. Brakenwagen and his co-worker, Levi McFatter,  26,  had been taking turns driving a Kubota tractor and spraying vegetation in the power line easement. Both were employed by Natur Chem, which had been contracted by Duke Energy to spray the vegetation on the Duke Energy property.

McFatter was taking a break while Mr. Brakenwagen was driving the tractor in a wooded area. When Mr. Brakenwagen did not return, McFatter went to check on him and found the Kubota tractor overturned in a deep hole, with Mr. Brakenwagen trapped underneath and unresponsive. Deputies said McFatter called 911 and paramedics from Palm Harbor Fire Rescue responded.

It took rescue workers about three hours working with a crane to free Mr. Brakenwagen.

Deputies said they believe Mr. Brakenwagen did not see the steep embankment because of the thick vegetation. As the tractor rolled down the embankment, Mr. Brakenwagen was thrown off and pinned underneath.

Deputies said Mr. Brakenwagen’s death appears accidental.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was notified of the death investigation.

For information about the Pinellas County sheriff, go to

Photo courtesy of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Pinellas Sheriff | Steven R. Brakenwagen | Death | Worker Dies | Tampa Bay News | TB Reporter

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Pinellas Deputies Investigate Work-Related Death
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Pinellas Deputies Investigate Work-Related Death
A tractor rolled over on him, according to the Pinellas sheriff.
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TB Reporter
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