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Johnson City Business Owner’s Death Ruled Accidental

Bob Joseph/WNBF News

The death of the owner of a Johnson City ice cream shop has been ruled accidental.

Authorities say 60-year-old Donald Lee Baker apparently was alone in the business at 103 Riverside Drive working on a machine on the evening of December 15.

Johnson City police today said Baker became entangled in the equipment and was not able to shut off the machine.

According to an investigator, a relative of Baker’s discovered the man the following morning. Authorities were called to the ice cream shop just before 10:30 a.m. Baker was pronounced dead at the scene.

An autopsy was performed at Wilson Medical Center in Johnson City. The cause of death was determined to be strangulation by mechanical compression.

Christopher Adams, area director for the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration in Syracuse, said the agency was notified of the death.

Because of the circumstances, Adams said OSHA is not expected to conduct a formal investigation of the incident.

According to his obituary, Baker loved boating, fishing, football and his dogs. He also was well-known in Johnson City for operating the ice cream shop for many years.

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