2 brothers dead after farming accident; victims identified
Two Amish brothers are dead after a farming accident in Kosciusko County.
It happened around 1:45 p.m. in the 5300 block of West 1350 North in Nappanee.
The boys, 5-year-old Jaylin Hochstetler and 3-year-old Kenton Hochstetler, were hit by a truck.
Kosciusko County Coroner Tony Ciriello said the boys, who lived on the farm, next to a field with trucks and combines, had been playing outside, while their mother was attending to another child in the house.
"Apparently they became intrigued with the combines and trucks and wandered themselves over that way," Ciriello said.
They then apparently crossed the fence.
"And for some reason or another, got under the semi-grain trailer. It was attached to a semi-tractor, and apparently they were playing or hiding. We aren't sure exactly what happened yet," Ciriello said.
The driver of the tractor, 26-year-old Benjamin Tyler Sheets, had just loaded the semi-trailer with some 90,000 pounds of corn before taking off.
"The driver went to move the truck forward and did not see the children, and pulled the truck forward about fifteen feet, and looked in his mirror and noticed the children laying back there," Ciriello said.
The coroner said he believes the children died instantly.
"And I would say this ranks up in the top four or five of the most traumatic I've seen over my career when it involves children," Ciriello said.
Authorities said the driver was "shook up" and the parents were devastated.
The incident remains under investigation by the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office Fatal Team.