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UPDATE: Investigation into death at WETRA halted

The Ministry of Labour has halted its investigation into a farming death at the Windsor Essex Therapeutic Riding Association.

On Tuesday, a contractor baling hay at the association’s facility on North Malden Road in Essex was pinned by a piece of equipment.¬†Ontario Provincial Police on Friday identified the victim in the incident as 27-year-old Alex Durham of Amherstburg.

Alex Durham was pinned by a piece of equipment and died at the Windsor-Essex Therapeutic Riding Association. July 12, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Durham family)

Alex Durham was pinned by a piece of equipment and died at the Windsor-Essex Therapeutic Riding Association. July 12, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Durham family)

Police said he was located under the rear tire of a hay baler on the farm property.

On Wednesday, Becky Mills, the executive director, issued a statement that read, “we are heartbroken by the tragic event that occurred during the hay harvest.”

The Ministry informed BlackburnNews.com the incident does not fall within its jurisdiction because the contractor is not an employee of the riding association.

The OPP has also ended its investigation.

The riding association provides programs to those with disabilities and special needs and serves about 200 people each week.

A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help his family. Durham leaves behind his pregnant wife Sarah, young son Oliver, and an unborn child. Sarah is expecting in November.

Visitation at the Gerald A. Smith Funeral Home in Harrow will be Sunday from 1-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.

There is no funeral service planned.

– with files from Paul Pedro