Death investigation underway at Phenix City lumber mill after machine malfunction

Some details in this story may be considered graphic for some readers.

Death investigation underway at Phenix City lumber mill after machine malfunction
Death investigation (Source: WALB)

PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WTVM) - A Phenix City man is dead after going to inspect a machine malfunction at a lumber mill in Phenix City.

WARNING: Some details in this story may be considered graphic for some readers.

A silo with a wood chipper became jammed and an alarm sounded at approximately 4:15 a.m. on May 27, alerting the attendant that there was a malfunction.

The attendant, 34-year-old Brandon Lee Vandyke, went to inspect the malfunction and became entangled in the equipment.

Police were dispatched to the work area on Cutrate Rd. in reference to a medical call at approximately 5:00 a.m. Upon arrival, they located Vandyke’s partial remains and began a recovery. The Russell County Coroner’s Office pronounced him deceased on the scene.

Phenix City police say this is not a criminal investigation, but other agencies will be conducting independent investigations into the operation of the mill.

Phenix City Police are offering thanks to the other agencies involved in this incident, including the Phenix City Fire Department, the Phenix City Building Department, the Columbus Fire Department, Care Ambulance, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Russell County District Attorney’s Office.

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