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Posted: December 07, 2015

Teen killed after being pulled into wood chipper

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By Ken Lemon

WSOC - Charlotte

KINGS MOUNTAIN, N.C. —

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A teenager, who police said was killed when he was pulled feet-first into a wood chipper, has been identified.

Emergency crews responded to the accident Saturday in Kings Mountain, North Carolina.

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The victim was identified as Mason Cox, 19.

According to WSOC, Cox had just started working for Crawford's Tree and Stump Grinding Service in Belmont, North Carolina. Saturday was his first day on the job.

Investigators said no one witnessed Cox getting pulled into the wood chipper.

Jon Crawford, the owner of the business, suffered a heart attack at the scene and had to be rushed to the hospital, police said.

Alice Neal has been haunted by the disturbing thought of her grandson being dragged into the wood chipper.

"How could this happen to such a vibrant young gentleman?" Neal asked.

Officers determined the incident was accidental, and no foul play was suspected.

Cox was putting tree limbs into the wood chipper when Crawford heard the machine get bogged down. Crawford quickly hit the kill switch and put the machine in reverse, but he could not save Cox from getting pulled into the machine.

Coworkers who saw Cox's body became emotional. Onlookers said the workers started running around, ripping off their gloves and hats. Those who did not know what had happened said the reactions were so erratic and emotional that they thought the crew was being attacked by bees.

Cox's family was stunned. They have received constant calls of support since his death.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the incident.

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