Dairy worker who died in Weld County accident is survived by wife and three children – The Denver Post

A 44-year-old worker died in a dairy farm accident late last month, drowning in a manure pit.

Juan Panzo Temoxtle was operating a manure vacuum truck, on March 30, at the Shelton Dairy in LaSalle when the truck submerged in the pit and Temoxtle was trapped inside, according to Project Protect Food Systems Workers, a workers support group.

Workers on site tried to free Temoxtle, who was submerged for about 30 minutes, until a helicopter arrived and was used to free him, the release said. Temoxtle died on March 31 at the North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley.

The Weld County Coroner’s Office said that his death was “accidental” and due to drowning.

Described as an immigrant from Mexico, Temoxtle had been working at the dairy for about six weeks. It was his first day operating the pit vacuum truck, according to the release.

Shelton Dairy could not be reached for comment. Temoxtle is survived by a wife and three children.

“Juan came to the United States to have a better future for his kids, but unfortunately God had another plan for him,” said Serafina Caliuhua Gonzalez, Temoxtle’s wife, in the release. “Juan wanted his kids to have a career and have a better future. He worked so hard for us. We depended on Juan, and now we have no one to depend on, no one to support us.”

A GoFundMe account has been set up to support his family.

An agricultural workers’ rights bill, SB 21-087, is currently in the Colorado Legislature.

“Agricultural workers have been historically excluded from worker’s rights legislation both nationally and in Colorado because the work is and has been done by black and brown workers,” said Nicole Civita, a lawyer and policy director with PPFSW, in the release. “Undocumented workers are especially vulnerable to exploitation and at risk for harms from unjust or unsafe working conditions because their legal status makes their presence and ability to earn a living in the United States very precarious.”

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