Garcia, foreman of grain operations at Woodsboro Co-Op, caught his leg in an auger in the southwest grain storage tank.
“The auger transfers grain in and out of the tank,” said Larry Jochetz, who called 911 to report the accident.
The augers run laterally across the grain. Garcia was inside the tank, according to the sheriff’s report.
HALO-Flight medics were on the ground by 10:41. Garcia was freed at 11:03 and the helicopter was back in the air at 11:11 a.m. He was reported to be “stable” before he was transported to the hospital. His leg was later amputated after he arrived at the trauma center in Corpus Christi.
When the accident occurred, the employees working with Garcia used a two-way radio to contact Jochetz in the office and report the accident. Jochetz called 911, without clear knowledge of Garcia’s injuries.
“They told me to call 911 and I did,” Jochetz said.
How Garcia’s leg was caught is still under investigation.
Roxanne Wiginton, general manager at the Co-Op, returned Tuesday afternoon from Garcia’s bedside at Spohn Memorial Hospital. Jochetz has been to the hospital to check on Garcia as well.
“He’s in very good spirits and he’s very upbeat,” Wiginton said.
Accidents are rare at the Co-Op. Jochetz said he has been working there for 14 years and Wiginton has been there longer and, to the best of their knowledge, no accident has ever occurred since they’ve been on board.
“Everybody did their job well – the sheriff’s office, the DPS, city officer, paramedics, HALO-Flight, everybody,” Jochetz said. “Everything went just as it is supposed to go.”
Sheriff Robert Bolcik and Marshal Kody Farenthold were on the scene at 10:06 and the Woodsboro Fire Department, two medic units and other first responders arrived no later than 10:15.
Garcia worked at the Co-Op before changing jobs about a decade ago. He returned to the Woodsboro Farmers Co-Op last year and was made foreman of operations.
“He is my co-worker and friend,” Jochetz said.