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Brandon man dies in construction accident

A 35-year-old Brandon man was killed in a construction accident in Barrett Friday afternoon.

Mitchell J. Brethorst was operating a backhoe at the site of the old bus garage in Barrett at about 1 p.m. when a tree fell on the full-swing backhoe, pinning Brethorst in the machine, according to the Grant County Sheriff's Office.

Other members of the construction crew who were working at the facility said that Brethorst was digging around a large cottonwood tree that was was being removed to prepare the site for a new bus garage facility. He reportedly had dug on two sides of the tree when the cottonwood toppled over, landing on top of the cab.

Firefighters from Barrett and Elbow Lake, the Prairie Ridge Medical Ambulance and the Grant County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene and determined that Brethorst had died.

Crews worked at the scene for a long time, using chain saws to remove the tree from the backhoe. A semi-wrecker hauled the tree away.

Funeral services will take place at Grace Lutheran Church in Brandon at 11 a.m. Monday.