BROADALBIN - A local marina owner and member of the town Planning Board was killed Monday in what Fulton County Sheriff Thomas Lorey described as a "freak" lawn- mower accident at the man's business.
Lorey said Lauren R. McMurray, 65, of 167 Hatzenbuhler Road, died from a neck injury in the accident about 4:15 p.m. at his marina and campground off Lakeview Road. A neighbor called 911 to report the accident.
"He was mowing the grass with a garden tractor and was pinned between a camper and a protective bar on the tractor," Lorey said.
Lorey said McMurray was operating a zero-turn lawn mower near a large camper.
"He made an attempt to mow under the camper and the safety roll bar got stuck on the camper, causing the wheels of the lawn mower to raise into the air," the sheriff said.
He said the mower's engine speed increased and McMurray became "wedged" between the mower and the camper. Lorey said the victim was found pinned between the mower - with its engine still on and tipped downward - and the camper. Lorey said the "safety" roll bar was a contributing factor in the incident.
"You hear of these tractors tipping over quite frequently," Lorey added.
The sheriff said McMurray suffered a neck injury. He said he doesn't have "any reason to believe" McMurray was under the influence or impaired when the accident occurred.
Fulton County Coroner Margaret Luck, who pronounced McMurray dead at the scene, said today she couldn't release any information.
"It's still under investigation," she said. "There's [an] autopsy scheduled for later today at Nathan Littauer Hospital."
Police, members of the Boadalbin-Kenyetto Volunteer Fire Department and other emergency services went to the scene of the accident.
McMurray was the owner of McMurray's Boat Livery at 245 Lakeview Road. According to the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce website, the business is a lighted launch, which assists with fishing tournaments and offers rowboat and canoe rentals.
Broadalbin Town Supervisor Joseph DiGiacomo said today the death of McMurray is a shock to the community.
"Obviously, it's a tragedy," DiGiacomo said. "He's been a member of the Planning Board for 10 years or so. Lauren's a great guy. He's been an asset to the community."
McMurray in March had been reappointed to the Planning Board until 2020.