By JESSICA CRAWFORD
• Daily Leader
The man who fell from the Perryton Equity Exchange grain elevators on Friday, Oct. 29, has been identified as Preston Tolbert, 27, of Newton. Although many injuries were sustained resulting from the fall, an autopsy report has listed a broken neck as the official cause of death.
David Maurer M.D. has been filling in for Dr. Hubert Peterson at Cimarron Pathology. An autopsy was performed on Monday, and Dr. Maurer explained the findings on Thursday afternoon.
“According to the police report, he fell 96 feet,” Dr. Maurer said. “He broke his neck on the fall and it killed him instantly, he did have other damage to his internal organs and so forth. He had no underlying conditions, he was healthy, otherwise.”
Dr. Maurer said he does not expect toxicology reports to be available very soon.
“The final reports were sent to the state lab and that is going to take awhile,” he said. “I asked about that t(Thursday) morning, and it may not be back for several weeks. That would be the final report – it is in the mail but will not be available for quite awhile.”
A release from Liberal Police Department Capt. Pat McClurg noted Tolbert was working with a fumigation company based in Salina and was preparing to fumigate the elevators at the time of the incident.
“On Oct. 29, at about 10:04 a.m., emergency responders were dispatched to the Perryton Equity Exchange for a report of a worker that fell from the elevator,” the release noted. “Emergency responders located the man near the grain elevators closest to Pershing Avenue. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.”
The Salina Journal provided the Daily Leader with Tolbert’s obituary information.
Tolbert was born Oct. 21, 1983 to Raymond S. Tolbert and Diane K. (Rogers) Tripp in Newton.
He graduated from Newton High School in 2001. He then went on to attend Hutchinson Community College.
He was employed by Central States in Salina as a fumigator for grain elevators.
He had church membership with Columbus Avenue Church of Christ in Newton.
He had many hobbies and many friends. He enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his children, and was an avid sports fanatic. He spent a lot of time following and watching the Kansas City Chiefs, Steelers and Raiders football games. He also loved to play softball. He had played on a Wichita team and two teams in the Newton community.
Tolbert leaves behind his wife, Jeanna Watson-Tolbert; one son, Kembran Tolbert; and one daughter, McKaelah Watson – all of Arkansas City.
Visitation will be from 1 to 8 p.m. today at Broadway Colonial Funeral Home in Newton, with family present from 5 to 7 p.m.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Columbus Avenue Church of Christ, followed by burial at Greenwood Cemetery in Newton.
Memorials may be made to the Preston Tolbert Childrens’ Memorial Fund, and may be sent in care of the funeral home. Friends may also sign the book online at www.broadwaycolonialfh.com.