Just months before he was to be wed, a Saugerties man was killed while mowing a lawn.
Central Hudson Gas & Electric employee Joshua Hockx of Saugerties, 36, died on Wednesday, Aug. 8 after his routine property maintenance at the Sturgeon Point Hydroelectric Plant in Rifton.
“He was moving the grass in the morning and it appears the grass was wet,” said Captain Vincent Altieri of the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office, the agency tasked with investigating the circumstances of the incident. “You could see the tire marks where the mower was going down the hill forward, but the wheels must have been spinning in reverse. There was a little walkway, maybe four or five feet wide that he went to before he went into the creek area. He went over a stone wall into the creek area and the mower fell over on him. It overturned and he was pinned. It’s a big 1,100-pound mower.”
According to sheriff’s deputies, Rosendale police arrived at the scene at 11:20 a.m. and began performing CPR. Hockx was pronounced dead en route to Health Alliance Broadway Campus Hospital in Kingston.
Hockx had been a roving mechanic operator for Central Hudson for nearly three years; previously, he worked with Precision Pipeline Solutions. A graduate of Saugerties High School, Hockx attended Ulster Community College and served as a corporal in the U.S. Marines and served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, according to his obituary. His wedding with fiancée Stephanie Hughes was scheduled for this October, and, according to Altieri, he had just been fitted for his suit a week prior.
“We’re extremely sad for Joshua’s friends and family,” said Central Hudson spokesman John Maserjian. “We too here at Central Hudson are devastated by what happened. We are awaiting the results of the investigation to understand more fully what took place.”
“No one is at fault here, as far as we’re aware,” said Altieri. “It’s a terrible accident — the young man is only 36 years old.”