A long time employee of Santa Cruz County died in a freak accident this morning when he was pulled into a tree chipper.
The 61 one year old was working on a road maintenance team clearing brush along Whiting Road in Watsonville at the time.
He had worked for the county since 1969.
The Department of Public Works issued the a statement following his death. "We are deeply saddened by this incident, and our hearts and condolences go out to (the victim's) family and friends."
The Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident along with the county Department of Public Works management.
The identity of the county worker will not be released until family members have been located and notified of the accident.
The crew who witnessed the horrific death are being offered counseling.