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Man dies driving tractor in orchard near Sebastopol

The cause of the man’s death was not immediately clear and there were no obvious signs of trauma, authorities said.|

A man died Sunday while driving a tractor in an apple orchard west of Sebastopol, authorities said.

The Gold Ridge Fire Protection District was called to the orchard in the 4000 block of Burnside Road around 4:30 p.m., authorities said.

When firefighters arrived, a man was dead in the driver’s seat of a tractor that had collided with a tree, said Battalion Chief Gino DeGraffenreid.

The cause of the man’s death was not immediately clear, DeGraffenreid said, noting there were no obvious signs of trauma. He said a small branch fell off the tree the man collided with.

“It appeared as though the gentleman was mowing his orchard and suffered some sort of an emergency,” he said.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death, authorities said.

The man’s name was not released on Sunday.

You can reach Staff Writer Matt Pera at matthew.pera@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @Matt__Pera.

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