Russell farmer dead after milking mishap

Jonathan Bergeron’s father watched his only son and “right-hand man” die in a horrific industrial accident on the family farm Thursday.

Bergeron was milking and feeding the cows with his dad, Marc, around 8:30 a.m. at 431 St-Guillaume Rd in Russell Twp. when he got trapped in the barn’s feed-mixing machine.

The 27-year-old farmer was crushed to death.

“It’s big and dangerous,” said OPP Sgt. Stephane Roy of the machinery.

“It’s not clear exactly how he ended up there but I’m sure it was an accident.”

Marc Bergeron made the 911 call.

“He liked (farming) so much,” said the younger Bergeron’s friend, Eric Patenaude. “His dad needed him.”

Paramedics tried to revive Bergeron but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Jonathan Bergeron was divorced and has a young son, about four years old.

According to members of the tight-knit community, seeing his son and farming were Bergeron’s favourite things.

“He really liked the cows,” said Marc Patenaude, Eric’s father. Their family runs La Ferme Gillette farm in Embrun.

Bergeron attended Ecole Secondaire Catholique de Casselman, then went straight to work with his dad.

Eric Patenaude said he last saw Bergeron two weeks ago.

“We bought some hay from him and we were in the field together.”

Upon hearing about Bergeron’s death, “the first thing I asked myself was, who’s going to take care of the animals?” he said.

Marc Patenaude said he isn’t sure what will happen to the Bergeron farm.

“(Marc Bergeron) will probably be selling his herd,” he said.

“Having this tragedy, I don’t think he’s going to be willing to stay in the dairy industry.”

Bergeron’s sudden death is hitting young farmers hard.

“He’s just like me, same age, upcoming generation in farming, full of ambition, and it just kind of goes to remind you how dangerous and unpredictable what we do can be,” said Eric Patenaude.

The Ministry of Labour and OPP are investigating.

An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of death.

http://www.ottawasun.com/2011/07/07/russell-farmer-dead-after-milking-mishap

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