Van slips gear, hits and kills man

— A man was killed early Tuesday when his van slipped out of "park" and rolled over him in the Baker Flats area on U.S. Highway 97between Orondo and East Wenatchee.

The man has been identified, but his name is being withheld pending notification of kin, Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal said.

The death is being called an "accident" by investigators, the sheriff said.

According to reports, deputies were called to the 13000 area of U.S. Highway 97 at about 10:50 a.m. for a report of a deceased man pinned beneath a van.

First responders found the victim under the front end of a gray 1992 GMC van, Gjesdal said. The man had suffered severe head trauma and was declared dead at 11:08 a.m. at the scene in an orchard surrounded by a large gated fence.

The sheriff said investigators determined the man was killed attempting to close the gate after exiting his work area and vehicle.

Investigators believe the van may not have been fully in "park" when it slipped into reverse and rolled backwards, hitting him, Gjesdal said.

The van pinned the man initially against the gate, but the weight pushed the gate open allowing the van to continue to rolling backwards and onto the victim, the sheriff said.

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