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TIPTON — Police say a city of Tipton employee was killed Wednesday morning when the machine he was operating fell into a burn pit.

According to a Tipton County Sheriff’s Office media release, David Arnett, 64, of Tipton, was using machinery to move logs to clear area in a location known as Boy Scouts Woods — County Road 200 South just west of 200 West — when the machine’s tires went over the edge and into the pit.

Arnett was initially able to free himself from the machine and climb out of the way, the release noted, but he received several severe burns throughout his body in the process.

Other workers on scene contacted 911, and Arnett was transported to IU Health Tipton before being transferred to Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis, where he later died, officials stated.

Initial investigation by the TCSO determined there were no criminal violations in connection with the incident, and the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration is conducting its own investigation.

Arnett, a Cemetery Department employee, was helping to clear area for a new recreational facility, a statement by the Mayor’s Office said.

“Dave’s compassion in caring for people, dedication to improving life around him, and passion for the Tipton community was unmatched,” Tipton Mayor Tom Dolezal said in part. “His willingness to contribute, untiring work ethic, and humorous perspective on life will be sorely missed by all that knew him.

“Dave was always toughest on himself, constantly pushing to do more, help more, and serve more people than a single day would allow,” Dolezal’s statement continued. “We are confident that Dave resides in the company of amazing souls that also placed others before themselves.”

According to his obituary, Arnett was a “giant of a man” who was also the “rock of his family” and who often jokingly referred to himself as “Papa, the man, the myth, the legend.”

Along with his work with the city of Tipton, Arnett was a member of Iron Workers Local Union No. 22 for about 25 years, his obituary added, and he also enjoyed woodworking and building projects for his family and friends.

Funeral services for Arnett will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday at Taylor & Cowan Funeral Home, 314 N. Main St., Tipton. Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the time of services.

Arnett’s full obituary can be viewed on the Taylor & Cowan Funeral Home website by visiting https://www.taylorcowanfh.com.

Kim Dunlap can be reached at 765-860-3256 or at kim.dunlap@kokomotribune.com.

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