1-year-old dies in Berks Co. farm accident

Monday, April 30, 2012

A 1-year-old boy is dead after being pinned under a soil mixer at a Berks County farm.

The fatal incident occurred just before 5:00 p.m. Sunday at the Burkholder Farm Market on 630 Topton Road in Kutztown.

According to the coroner's office, the victim, identified as 18-month-old John Edward Burkholder, died from asphyxiation after accidentally turning the mixer on.

Neighbors in the community around the Burkholder Farm say they cannot imagine what the family is going through right now.

"I have eight grandkids and three kids. I can't even imagine that, losing a baby that young in life," said Donna Wharton.

The Burkholders are Old Order Mennonites, neighbors said, and have run the farm for three generations. The most common words used to describe them are hard-working, private and kind.

"I think they are great people and I feel really sorry for the tragedy that they're facing, the loss of a young child. That is horrific," said Bill Stoudt.

Investigators have already deemed this to be an accident.

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