Two Off-Duty Firefighters Die After Falling into Manure Tanker at NY Farm

A vacuum tanker, known as a "honey vac," dumps its slurry of manure siphoned out of feedin
Rick Loomis/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A pair of off-duty firefighters died on Thursday at a farm near Syracuse, New York, when they fell into a manure tanker.

The incident happened at Champion Farm in Clinton, where the victims, identified as Nathan Doody, 33, and Tyler Memory, 29, were found unconscious inside the tanker and workers called 911 for help, the New York Daily News reported on Friday.

Images show the two victims:

Emergency crews rushed the men to a local hospital. Authorities said one of the men had tried to retrieve some equipment that fell into the tanker. However, when he did so he passed out and fell into it. The second victim was trying to help when he also passed out and fell into the tanker.

According to the Daily Mail, Memory and Doody were working as drivers for the manure trucks at the farm when the incident happened:

Helicopters were also dispatched to the farm when the workers called 911 for help, the outlet said.

“The Clinton Fire Department, Mercy Flight, and COVAC Ambulance all descended on the farm and administered aid to the two men. Tully and Doody were then rushed to Wynn Hospital in Utica, where they later died,” the Mail report said.

Video footage shows helicopters landing at the farm and official vehicles parked outside a building at the scene:

Memory was a third-generation firefighter and had been working with the Tully Fire and EMS for the past 15 years, the News article noted, adding that “Doody served as a volunteer member with the Cuyler Fire Department for the past 10 years, Chief Adam Daley said.”

Now, neighbors are grappling with the loss, per CNY Central.

“We know everybody,” Daley said of the surrounding towns, adding, “We all know each other and when something like this happens the community definitely comes together in support”:

Meanwhile, Cornell University Farming Expert Jason Oliver said what is most tragic about the situation is that the men, who were rescuers themselves, became victims.

“In a confined space, manure gases can accumulate at high concentration and be dangerous or deadly. Farming is one of the highest risk professions around and these folks are working hard to make healthy, high nutritious food for us,”  Oliver said.


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