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Police: Afton man dies after vehicle falls on him

AFTON. N.Y. (WBNG) — New York State Police say a Chenango County man died after the vehicle he was working on fell on him Tuesday evening.

Troopers say 50-year-old Daniel Smith was working on the vehicle at his home on Oak Hill Spur Road in Afton when for an unknown reason it fell. State police say it was reported at 6:34 p.m.

Officials say Smith was working on a pickup truck on his driveway.

Troopers say the driveway is sloped and the truck rolled on Smith, who was later found by a relative.

State police called it an accident and said the incident does not appear to be suspicious.

Neighbors and town officials say they were shocked and saddened when they heard the tragic news of Smith’s death.

“The whole town is at a loss and feels so bad about this,” said Afton Town Supervisor John Lawrence.

“I just didn’t know what to say. My wife and I were shocked,” said Michael Hawley, who was Smith’s neighbor. “It’s just like a freak thing, you know, a freak accident.”

Lawrence says Smith was recently hired as the highway superintendent for the town.

“He was a well-respected person. Everybody that worked with him and knew him thought he was the kindest person. Very capable and it was a tragic loss for the town,” said Lawrence.

He also added the timing of the death made the situation even more tragic for Smith’s family.

“He and his wife just got married less than a month ago. So timing, you don’t get to choose that, but it’s just devastating,” said Lawrence.

“I can’t imagine. It would be like, you know, my wife and I losing one of our children or our grandchildren. What would you do?” said Hawley.

Town officials say they are doing what they can to honor Smith’s life.

“We’ve lowered the flag to half-staff in his honor until his funeral,” said Lawrence.

As the community continues to mourn, neighbors say they will be there for the family in their time of need.

“We have told everybody, if they ever need anything we are there for them,” said Hawley.

The Chenango County Sheriff’s Office and Harpursville Fire & EMS also responded.

Nicky Hickling

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