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Arvada city employee dies in mowing accident

Joe Herrin had worked with the city's parks and maintenance team since 2018.

ARVADA, Colo. — An Arvada city employee has died after the mower he was operating overturned into Birdland Lake pinning him underwater, according to the city.

Joe Herrin, who was a member of Arvada's Parks and Maintenance Team since 2018, was injured in the accident on July 22 at Jack B. Tomlinson Park near 51st Avenue and Garrison Street.

The Arvada Fire Protection District (AFPD) and the Arvada Police Department (APD) responded to the accident and were able to extricate Herrin from the water. AFPD provided advanced life support and transported Herrin to Lutheran Medical Center where he was admitted to the intensive care unit. 

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He died July 28 as a result of his injuries.

"These have been painful and sad times for the City of Arvada, our team members and citizens,” said Arvada Mayor Marc Williams. “We are further saddened by the death of Joe Herrin, who was a valued member of our City team. We offer our sincere condolences to his wife and family, and his teammates and friends." 

Credit: Arvada Police Department

The City has initiated a process to learn from the accident and help ensure it does not happen again.

APD is conducting an accident investigation to determine what occurred during the accident. Once the accident investigation is complete the City will conduct an internal workplace safety assessment to identify steps to improve workplace safety and prevent similar accidents in the future.

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Consistent with Colorado's workers' compensation system, the City of Arvada will compensate Herrin’s family with medical and lost-wage benefits. 

Victim advocates and other mental health have also been provided to support Herrin’s family and members of the City team have been impacted by Herrin's death.

Friends of the Herrin family have also launched a GoFundMe site to help Herrin’s family.