Cortland Farmer Indicted After Boy’s Death
The owner of a Cortland County dairy farm was named in a 15-count indictment following the death of a boy who had been working for him.
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Authorities say Luke Park of Homer faces eight felony counts of falsifying business records and filing false unemployment insurance documents. He also has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child and prohibited employment of minors.
The charges are in the aftermath of the death of 14-year-old Alex Smith.
According to the New York State Attorney General's Office, Smith was killed in July of last year while working on the Park Family Farm on East River Road.
Park told state police he found Smith's body pinned underneath a Skidloader which was equipped with a hydraulic lift. An autopsy determined the boy's chest and abdomen were crushed, causing death by mechanical asphyxiation.
Authorities say child labor laws explicitly prohibit a child from operating such equipment.
Park was arraigned Wednesday in Cortland County Court. His next court date was scheduled for January 13.
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