An Oneida man is being treated for serious injuries after what authorities are calling an unfortunate accident.

According to the Oneida County Sheriff's Office, road patrol deputies were called to an address on Skinner Road in Vernon for a medical call. Officials say 67-year-old Douglas Krueger was working in the hay barn at Richardson Farm when he fell 20 feet from a ladder he was using.

Deputies say an investigation revealed that a stack of hay gave out, forcing the ladder loose and causing Krueger to fall to the ground with the ladder. As a result of the fall, Krueger was airlifted to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse for treatment of what deputies call "serious injuries."

Preliminary investigations reveal that the events surrounding the fall were accidental in nature. The Sheriff's Office was assisted on scene by the Sheriff's Office ID Unit along with the Criminal Investigation Unit, Vernon Center Fire, Vineall Ambulance, and Mercy Flight.

For future reference the American Ladder Institute has a number of safety tips for using the tool. Their website states,

  • If you feel tired or dizzy, or are prone to losing your balance, stay off the ladder.
  • Do not use ladders in high winds or storms.
  • Wear clean slip-resistant shoes.  Shoes with leather soles are not appropriate for ladder use since they are not considered sufficiently slip resistant.
  • Before using a ladder,inspect it to confirm it is in good working condition.
    • Ladders with loose or missing parts must be rejected. Rickety ladders that sway or lean to the side must be rejected.
  • The ladder you select must be the right size for the job.
    • The Duty Rating of the ladder must be greater than the total weight of the climber,tools,supplies,and other objects placed upon the ladder. The length of the ladder must be sufficient so that the climber does not have to stand on the top rung or step.
  • When the ladder is set-up for use, it must be placed on firm level ground and without any type of slippery condition present at either the base or top support points.
  • Only one person at a time is permitted on a ladder unless the ladder is specifically designed for more than one climber (such as a Trestle Ladder).
  • Ladders must not be placed in front of closed doors that can open toward the ladder. The door must be blocked open, locked, or guarded.
  • Read the safety information labels on the ladder.
    • The on-product safety information is specific to the particular type of ladder on which it appears. The climber is not considered qualified or adequately trained to use the ladder until familiar with this information.

The current condition of Krueger is unknown, but we will keep you informed.