FAIR OAKS, Ind. — A man from northern Jasper County is dead after falling into a lagoon of manure at a dairy farm on Thursday, the Jasper County sheriff said.
Robert Van Baren, 30, died as a result of blood loss, according to coroner Andrew Boersma. His death was ruled an accident.
According to Sheriff Pat Williamson, first responders were called to Windy Ridge Dairy farm at 8:37 a.m. on Thursday, located near Interstate 65 just south of Fair Oaks. The sheriff said Van Baren apparently fell into the lagoon of manure after a piece of equipment rolled into the lagoon and became partially submerged.
Initially, the sheriff said first responders planned to pump the manure runoff out of the pond in order to locate Van Buren, but the process would have taken two days. Instead, first responders sailed through the pond on a boat with a treble hook, which was eventually used to haul Van Baren out of the lagoon once he was found.
Van Baren wasn’t located until nearly 1 p.m., the sheriff said, more than four hours after he’d reportedly fallen into the lagoon of manure.
Williamson said an excavator was used to retrieve the vehicle and the agitator from the lagoon.