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County road worker loses arm in accident

A Kent County Road Commission worker severed his arm in a work-related accident at the White Creek facility in Algoma Township last week.

According to Jon Rice, managing director of the Kent County Road Commission,  the accident happened about 1 p.m. Friday, December 10. He said that Joe Barbachyn, 55, a 36-year-veteran of the Road Commission, was unloading salt from a plow truck when he got his clothing caught and his arm was pulled into the auger.

Rice said no one witnessed the accident, but that Barbachyn was able to take himself to another employee, who provided first aid and called for medical aid.

He said that the Kent County Sheriff Department and Algoma Fire and Rescue responded to the scene. The man also suffered some broken ribs and a punctured lung, and is currently recovering in the hospital.

“This is the first time that anything like this has happened,” remarked Rice. “It’s a very unusual accident that took place.”

He said that Barbachyn is doing well and in good spirits. “We are working with the employee and his family,” said Rice. “He’ll have some rehab and we hope the best for his recovery.”

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