A 16-year member of the Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Company died Saturday after a tractor he was riding overturned, pinning him underneath, authorities said.
Cambria County Chief Deputy Coroner Jeffrey Lees said 32-year-old Gary C. Gongloff was using a tractor to remove a stump on his property at 11:54 a.m. after a tree blew down in a recent storm.
Gongloff was driving a 30-horsepower 1954 Ferguson tractor up a slight incline, using a chain to pull out the stump, when the front wheels lifted and the tractor overturned, Lees said.
Jackson Township firefighters and EMS personnel freed Gongloff. He was taken to Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown, where he was pronounced dead in the emergency room at 12:57 p.m., Lees said.
Lees said Gongloff died of upper torso trauma. His death was ruled accidental.
As many as 15 fellow firefighters were at the scene, fire Chief Tim Hofecker said.
“Once we extricated him from underneath the tractor and EMS was working on him, it was very emotional,” Hofecker said.
Gongloff was the fire company’s assistant treasurer and a member of the ambulance crew, the chief said.
“He’s going to be sorely missed,” Hofecker said.
Gongloff was engaged to fellow firefighter Natalie Krampy.
The couple were expected to be married in September, Hofecker said.
Krampy was at his home at the time of the accident.
Hofecker said he expects to meet with firefighters today.
“We’re in the process of contacting some of our members who were out of town and who were close to him,” he said.
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