ALLENHURST, NJ — A landscaper who kicked a tree branch to force it into wood chipper was fatally injured when his legs got pulled into the shredder.

Monmouth County authorities identified the man as Rigoberto Martinez, 20, of Long Branch, an employee of MJR Tree Service in Long Branch.

His right foot got caught in the chipper, which then pulled in his left leg ...

Martinez was feeding branches into the industrial-size chipper outside a private residence at about 10:40 a.m. Saturday when a branch became stuck in the intake chute.

Martinez then kicked the branch, and his right foot somehow became caught in the machine, which also pulled in his left leg, authorities said.

The homeowner, Victor Towil, called police and medics. Robert Honecker, an assistant county prosecutor, said the chipper had been shut off by the time help arrived, but it was too late to save Martinez.

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