Thu. Aug 5th, 2021

BAD AXE, MI – At 12:41 on Tuesday July 6th, 2021, Huron Central Dispatch was contacted by a septic tank cleaning company worker who advised he had just found a Sebewaing Rd. home owner deceased, partially wedged in the hole of an open septic tank.

Huron County Sheriff’s deputies and other emergency personnel responded where it was learned the home owner had an appointment to get his septic tank cleaned on Tuesday. The victim, identified as 72-year-old Ronald J. Sweeney, had spent some time earlier digging out the septic tank cover, which was deeper than most. It appears he may have been reaching into the hole while kneeling to pull the cover out and possibly lost his balance. There was no ledge or handholds to steady himself. It is also possible he may have had a medical emergency from the exhaustion of digging the hole earlier this hot day, or he may have injured himself by the way he was partially wedged in the hole. Fumes could have played a part as well. Contrary to some reports, he was not, nor was he ever submerged in the tank.

An autopsy has been ordered.

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