Yaneth Valladares Sanger California Raisin factory worker crushed to death after loose clothing gets stuck in processing machine at Del Rey Packing Company.
A female worker has been crushed to death by machinery at a California raisin processing plant in Sanger when a piece of her clothing became caught in the machinery and caused it her to strike her head.
Yaneth Lopez Valladares a 33 year old single mother of three was believed to have been clearing debris from a machine used to break up bunches of raisins when it hit her.
Nearby co-workers immediately powered off the machine but she had suffered severe trauma to the head and died from her injuries.
The ‘incident’ happened Friday morning just after 11 am in a Del Rey Packing Company processing plant in Fresno County, California.
Employees standing feet away from Valladares noticed her distress and called 911 but she was not breathing when first responders arrived Fresnobee reports.
‘We learned that a woman, 33-years old was working, processing some raisins with a couple of coworkers,’ Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer, Tony Botti, told Boston25 News.
‘Those workers later noticed that she got caught in a machine it appears that she maybe had some loose clothing that got caught on a piece of equipment, and that caused her to get stuck, and ultimately the trauma took her life.
‘There’s heavy equipment. It’s a dangerous occupation so in a split second something can take a turn for the worst.’
Valladares was working for farm labor contractor named ‘Blessed Harvest’ and clearing off a Stem Grading Line machine when the accident happened.
It is thought to have been her second season working in the plant.
Yaneth Lopez Valladares had worked at the Del Rey Packing Co. for two years before the incident Friday, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. https://t.co/DLLmjb4z81
— NewsWatch 12 (@KDRV) January 25, 2020
Who bears culpability?
The coroner and the California Department of Occupational Safety and Health were called in to investigate. An autopsy will be a carried out to determined Valladares’ exact cause of death.
The investigation will also find out whether employees at the plant had been taught how to use the machinery correctly or if the plant had any violations.
It was unclear how the victim came to be wearing loose fitting clothing and what stipulations and redress existed to maintain strict standards.
Reflected one commentator on the web: ‘There should be OSHA safety guides lines and posters in English and Spanish telling workers of hazards working around machinery .This should have never happened.’
The owner of the processing plant is said to have arrived immediately at the scene and was cooperating with the investigation.
The owner later commented that his heart went out to the family and friends of Valladares.
‘This is obviously a very traumatic situation with the owner for the employees to see one of your colleagues lose their life so suddenly in a job that they do on a regular basis and maybe take for granted,’ Botti said.
‘We’re fortunate to have a chaplaincy unit here staff to send people out to consult people give them whatever they need in these difficult times.’
ABC reports that the processing plant was shocked by the accident with other workers leaving in tears. The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Chaplaincy unit was made available for those impacted.
‘We are in deep sorrow,’ Del Rey Packing Co. President Gerald Chooljian said in a statement.
Months before answers are revealed:
The Department of Occupational Safety and Health warned it may take several months for them to complete their investigation KFSN reports.
In a statement they said: ‘An employee working for a farm labor contractor named Blessed Harvest was working on a Stem Grading Line when their clothing got caught on a shaft to a cylinder that breaks up raisin bunches, causing the employee to strike their head.’
According to a GoFundMe started to help with the victim’s funeral expenses, Valladares’ family wish to send her to be buried with her mother outside the US.
‘On January 24th, 2020 we received devastating news. Our beloved Yaneth Valladares was involved in a accident that took her life away,’ it reads.
‘She was a mother of three wonderful kids, who will no longer have the privilege to see her. She was a single mother trying to make a living for her kids.
‘Unfortunately, this incident happened so fast and it took us by surprise. As a family we would like to send her to be buried with her mother outside the U.S.’