- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 26, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A cherry picker accident that left a man and his nephew dead and injured three other children happened as the man was giving neighborhood kids a demonstration of the elevated lift, authorities said.

The cherry picker carrying the group toppled over from a strong gust of wind Sunday afternoon, fell on a power line and crashed about 50 feet to the ground, police said. All five were thrown from the lift.

Police on Tuesday identified the man as Ken Raschick, 56. His 12-year-old nephew also died after what police described as a tragic accident.

Police spokeswoman Celina Espinoza said Raschick’s 10-year-old son was in stable condition and his 7-year-old son was in critical condition. A 10-year-old neighbor also was in critical condition.

Espinoza said no charges are pending and the department’s crimes against children unit is investigating.

“Investigators believe the crane’s stabilizing legs were not deployed and the equipment was perched on top of a flatbed truck as the occupants took a ride in the bucket. Both factors, along with weather, likely contributed to the incident,” she said.

The equipment belonged to Raschick’s tree cutting service.


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