RANDLEMAN, N.C. -- Instead of making holiday plans, the family of Martin Soto Rodriguez is getting ready to say their goodbyes after a tragic work accident.
The 61-year-old was killed Friday while working at Deep River Dyeing Company on Poplar Street in Randleman.
“Nothing will be the same,” said Alejandra Nilsson, the victim’s stepdaughter. “There's a big hole. I just love him so much.”
Police say Rodriguez had worked at the mill for more than three years.
“It was his day off. They called him to go to work,” said Marisela Tenorio, the victim’s wife.
At around 2 p.m. Friday, something went terribly wrong.
“He was loading an extractor, which basically spins water out of fabric like a big washing machine. While he was loading the extractor, he either slipped or was tangled and was pulled into the machine while it was running,” said Randleman Police Chief Steven Leonard.
Leonard says the 61-year-old died by the time officers got to the mill.
Rodriguez’s family thinks the accident could have been prevented.
“We want to know what happened. We need answers from them,” said Nilsson.
Rodriguez’s family hopes his death will make the Deep River Dyeing Company reconsider the safety measures they have in place.
The North Carolina Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Division is also investigating the death.