Posted For: Willie Wonka
A Pennsylvania teenager died this week after getting pulled into a wood chipper while working, state authorities said.
Isiah M. Bedocs, 17, of Coplay, was helping with a tree removal job when his clothing got caught in the wood chipper Tuesday, Pennsylvania State Police said.
Police arrived on the scene at the 3700 block of Excelsior Road in North Whitehall Township shortly after 1:30 p.m.
Bedocs was transported by helicopter to Lehigh Valley Hospital with “multiple traumatic injuries,” authorities said. He was pronounced dead at 2:55 p.m.
Coroner Daniel A. Buglio confirmed Wednesday morning that the teen’s death was ruled an accident. The official cause of death remains undetermined pending an autopsy.
Bedocs was weeks away from starting his senior year at Lehigh Career and Technical Institute, where he was enrolled in the auto technology program.
In a statement to PEOPLE on Thursday, the Institute said it was “mourning” the teen’s death.
“Our hearts are with his family members and friends as they grapple with this unimaginable tragedy,” the school said. Counselors will be provided to students who may be struggling in the wake of the event.
A neighbor who lives near the scene described the tragedy as “unnerving.”
“It’s very sad for what happened to the young man,” the woman, who declined to share her identity, added. “I’m very sorry he didn’t make it.”
Crews had been working on the site for several days, she told WPVI-TV.
According to Action News, the homeowner hired Bedocs’ team to remove about 10 trees on the property.
The Pennsylvania State Police and the coroner’s office are continuing to investigate the incident, with assistance from the Bethlehem Criminal Investigation Unit and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).