19-year-old pulled into wood chipper on first day on the job; business owner has heart attack

GASTONIA, North Carolina -- A 19-year-old man has died after he was pulled into a wood chipper on his first day on the job.

It happened in Kings Mountain, North Carolina on Saturday, December 5th.

The victim has been identified as 19-year-old Mason Cox from Gastonia, North Carolina, according to WSOC-TV.

Cox had just started working for Crawford's Tree and Stump Grinding Service, and Saturday was his first day on the job.

Investigators said no one witnessed Cox get pulled into the wood chipper.

Jon Crawford, the owner of the business, suffered a heart attack at the scene and had to be rushed to the hospital, police told WSOC-TV.

Alice Neal has been haunted by the disturbing thought of her grandson being dragged into the wood chipper.

"How could this happen to such a vibrant, young gentleman?" Neal asked.

Officers determined the incident was accidental, and no foul play was suspected.

WSOC-TV says Cox was putting tree limbs into the wood chipper when Crawford heard the machine get bogged down. Crawford quickly hit the kill switch and put the machine in reverse, but he could not save Cox from getting pulled into the machine.

Co-workers who saw Cox's body became emotional. They started running around, ripping off their gloves and hats.

Neighbors who did not know what had happened thought the crew was being attacked by bees.

OSHA is investigating the incident.