Man killed in Johnston County tractor accident

A man culling tobacco in northern Johnston County died this morning when his shirt got tangled in a piece of equipment.

Mario Morales, 35, died late this morning after being pulled into a tobacco harvester, said Tammy Amaon, spokeswoman for the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office. He and a group of other workers — harvesting for Nash County farmer Derick Bissette — had been clearing a crop of tobacco on 2153 Woodard Dairy Road, Amaon said.

Morales was operating a harvester alone, while several others worked on nearby equipment. Fellow workers were unable to pull him out of the machine in time, Amaon said.

Emergency workers declared him dead with they arrived.

An investigator from the state Department of Labor will be looking into Morales death, said spokesman Neal O'Briant.