Arenzville man dies after being injured at Cargill plant
(MCT) — An Arenzville man died at a Springfield hospital following treatment of injuries he suffered unloading hogs last week at the Cargill plant in Beardstown.
Jackie Lee “J.B.” Burns III, 23, died Saturday at Memorial Medical Center.
A definitive cause of death has not been determined, but it does not appear he died directly from his injuries, Sangamon County Coroner Cinda Edwards said Monday.
Burns underwent surgery at the hospital after a finger was cut off by a cable while he was unloading hogs Friday at the pork processing facility, Edwards said. The injuries were not life-threatening and Burns was in the process of being discharged from the hospital when he collapsed and died, according to Edwards.
Edwards said she was hoping an autopsy would be able to determine what caused his death, but the preliminary findings were inconclusive.
“We will have to wait for the results of blood tests, which could be two weeks,” Edwards said.
The accident was “an unfortunate, tragic situation,” Mike Martin, Cargill Inc. director of communications, said Monday.
“In terms of drivers outside the plant being injured, this is very unusual,” Martin said. “Certainly, inside the plant, where we have workers using knives and saws, these kinds of accidents have occurred. The nature of the business is people disassembling animals. We’re in the business of making pork products.”
Burns was a truck driver for Winkelman’s Trucking in Arenzville, which is a subcontractor for a pork producer that supplies hogs to the plant, Martin said.
“He was trying to remove a hog that was not ambulatory — in other words, a hog that was not able to walk on its own — from the trailer when this happened.” Martin said. “My understanding is one finger was severed and others injured — all on one hand.”
Cargill employees on the scene called 911 and assisted with medical relief until paramedics and other emergency medical responders arrived.
The emergency responders “were stopped momentarily” at the plant’s security gate to confirm what they were there for and then admitted “fairly quickly,” Martin said.
“From the time the call was made and paramedics left our property, it was 35 minutes in total,” he said.
Williamson Funeral Home in Jacksonville is in charge of arrangements.