Authorities have identified the worker who died in an apparent drowning accident this (Tuesday) morning at the Burnett Dairy Farm in Carpenter as 52-year-old Erasmo Baeza Gonzalez.

Laramie County Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Don Hollingshead says Gonzalez, who lived on the property, fell down a 10 to 12-foot well shaft in the well house and landed in two to three feet of water.

"It appears that methane gas, which is heavier than air, seeped into the bottom of the well shaft in water that drained off of manure piles on the dairy," said Hollingshead.

"When Gonzalez fell in, he was surrounded by the deadly fumes and quickly fell unconscious causing him to drown," he added.

Hollingshead says three men were in the well house with Gonzalez when the incident occurred, but they were overcome by the fumes and couldn't save him.

All three men were taken to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, where two remain hospitalized.


A man is dead after falling into a 12-foot well on a dairy farm near Carpenter this (Tuesday) morning.

Laramie County Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Don Hollingshead says deputies were called to a reported drowning at the Burnett Dairy Farm around 9:50 a.m.

"When they arrived on scene, they found three males suffering from methane inhalation exposure," said Hollingshead. "A fourth person was presumed to have drowned in a well house on the property."

Hollingshead says the deceased was an employee at the dairy. He was doing maintenance on the well house with one of the owners and two electrical contractors when he fell into the well, dislodging a pocket of methane gas.

"The owner of the farm went in after him and was beginning to succumb and then an electrical contractor went in," said Hollingshead. "The last electrical contractor was able to pull the second two out, but the initial employee went under the water."

Hollingshead says one of the men was life flighted to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center and the other two were taken by ambulance. Their conditions are unknown.

"OSHA is investigating at this time and the name of the deceased isn't being released yet pending notification of family," said Hollingshead.

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