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Boy dies in farm accident

A 5-year-old boy died Thursday evening when he was crushed by a skid-steer loader, Goodhue County Sheriff's Office reported.

Matthew Mallett had been riding in the bucket of the machine when he fell out and was crushed. Rescue crews were called to 29510 Sunset Trail in Cannon Falls Township at about 6:30 p.m.

The boy was transported to Mayo Clinic Health System in Cannon Falls where he was pronounced dead.

Gail Henderson, 49, was driving the skid-steer loader at the time of the accident. Both she and Mallett's address is 29510 Sunset Trail in Cannon Falls Township, though it's not clear whether she was related to the boy.

Mallett was enrolled in the Cannon Falls School District and would have begun kindergarten next month, Supt. Beth Giese said.

"We'll be reaching out to the family and see what we can do from a school perspective to help them," she said.

Giese said because the boy hadn't yet started school and made connections with teachers and fellow students, the district won't be bringing in grief counselors once school starts.

Still, she said Mallett's death is being felt in Cannon Falls.

"It is really a loss for our community," she said. "This is not something you'd ever want to happen. I think everyone's just in shock."

Giese said Mallett's family is relatively new to the Cannon Falls area. She added that he does have younger siblings.

According to the Minnesota Farm Bureau, about 100 children under the age of 20 die each year in farm-related accidents in the United States. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture website warns that children should never be carried on tractors or other equipment.

Goodhue County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Kris Weiss said the incident is under investigation. Cannon Falls Police, Cannon Falls Ambulance and Cannon Falls Rescue assisted at the scene.

Sarah Gorvin
Sarah Gorvin has been with the Republican Eagle for two years and covers education, business and crime and courts. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2010 with a  journalism degree.