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Authorities identify worker killed after his arm was crushed in gravel machine in Volo

Michael Rowell, 33, of Woodstock, with his wife and daughter in an undated photo. | GoFundMe

Authorities have identified an excavator company employee who was killed after his entire arm got stuck in a large gravel machine in Volo on Friday.

An autopsy showed that Michael Rowell, 33, of Woodstock, died from multiple injuries caused by a heavy machinery mishap, according to Lake County Coroner Dr. Howard Cooper.

The Wauconda Fire District and Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded around 12:17 p.m. Friday to Kanzler Excavating, 30846 North Route 12 in Volo, for an injured person call.

Sheriff’s deputies arrived and located Rowell, whose arm was stuck in a gravel screening machine.

“It appeared the male attempted to free some rocks that may have been stuck in the hopper, and his entire right arm sustained major trauma,” Lake County Sheriff Spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli said.

Rowell was located by a fellow employee who immediately called 911. The man was deceased upon the arrival of deputies, Covelli said.

File Photo – Kanzler Construction in Volo | Photo: Google Street View.

The Lake County Coroner’s Office was notified and responded to the scene. The autopsy was conducted Monday morning and toxicology results are pending.

“We have been in close contact with Mr. Rowell’s family and our deepest condolences go out to them during this difficult time. This is truly a tragedy,” Cooper said.

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The sheriff’s office also notified the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the incident.

“Not only does he leave behind his beautiful wife, who he cared so deeply for but also his sweet baby girl Lennox, who he just adored. No one was more important in his life than his girls. His passing has left all of us with the heaviest of hearts,” a statement on a GoFundMe page said.

“All donations will go directly to help provide a little financial relief so Rachel can take all the time she needs to care for their baby girl right now & grieve the loss of her husband. They had created such a beautiful life together,” the GoFundMe page said.

The GoFundMe has raised nearly $35,000 in two days.

The incident does not appear to be criminal in nature; however, it remains under investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Lake County Coroner’s Office.


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