Trying to elude capture, an alleged marijuana grower trespassing on state game lands crawled undetected under a stopped bulldozer that state police were using to look for him last month in Berks County.
After about 30 seconds, state police resumed the search, slowly driving the bulldozer in a 45-degree angle, and in doing so, crushed and killed 51-year-old Gregory A. Longenecker of Reading, when he got trapped under the bulldozer's treads, authorities said.
On Tuesday, Berks County District Attorney John Adams announced that state police search was "reasonable and conducted in a safe manner," and determined that Longenecker's death was an accident.
He said state police had no idea that Longenecker crawled under the bulldozer July 9 as they searched for him in a field off Snyder School Road in Penn Township.
"It is unfortunate that a life was lost and our condolences go out to the Longenecker family," Adams said. "However, I support the actions of the Pennsylvania State Police."
Police previously said Longenecker and another man were tending to about 10 marijuana plants hidden in the field when a when a state Game Commission employee on a bulldozer spotted their parked car at about 10 a.m. on July 9. The car was parked on the field, which is normally only used by Game Commission farmers and their tractors.