A Claude Howard Lumber Co. employee died after an apparent accident while working at the sawmill on Park Avenue, officials said. Salvador Hernandez, 32, of Statesboro, had crawled onto a piece of equipment to clear a jam on it when he was killed.

In a statement released Tuesday, Claude Howard Lumber said Hernandez, who has been an employee for nearly four years, was killed “when he became trapped under the bander machine which he normally operated.” The 911 call was made around 7 a.m. Monday. Hernandez was taken by EMS to East Georgia Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, the coroner said.

“The company is conducting its own internal investigation to determine how the accident occurred, and is cooperating with authorities from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in their investigation,” Claude Lumber Company’s statement says. The company said the plant will remain closed “until further notice.”

OSHA spokesman Lindsay Williams confirmed that the agency has opened an investigation but said no details are available at this point.

Hernandez was sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab in Savannah for an autopsy. Futch said the death appears “more than likely” to be accidental, but it is under investigation. Futch said Tuesday evening that the autopsy was complete, but results were not available.

From the Statesboro Herald: http://www.statesboroherald.com/section/1/article/64198/