Charges filed against man involved in toddler's death

Wisconsin State Farmer
Complaint alleges that numerous children have been injured on Waupaca County farm in skid steer related accidents.

A father of a toddler who died after falling out of a skid steer could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

Charges of second-degree reckless homicide were filed in Waupaca County Court against Cadem Schachtscheider, according to Waupaca County News. The 39 year old Town of St. Lawrence man is expected to make his initial court appearance on June 1.

Schachtscheider told investigators that on April 5 he was using a skid steer to clear manure while the child sat on his lap. According to the criminal complaint, the child fell forward while Schachtscheider was lowering the bucket, pinning the child between the bucket boom and frame of the machine. The St. Lawrence man told investigators he had removed the front door from the machine.

Rescue workers responded to the farm and airlifted the child to Theda Clark Medical Center. The boy was then transferred to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee where he later died.

According to the criminal complaint, the man's older children have been injured in accidents involving the skid steer. In 2017, Schachtscheider's then 5 year old son was seriously injured when the skid steer's hydraulic bucket tore the skin off his leg, from his knee to his ankle. The child was hospitalized and underwent multiple surgeries for his injuries.

In 2015, another child who was six plowed the skid steer into his older sibling, resulting in his hospitalization, according to the complaint.

Dangerous machines

Skid loaders have become a focal point in farm accidents involving children. In 2017, 5-year-old Loyal boy was driving a skid loader in a field about 30 miles northwest of Marshfield while his younger brother and mother were picking up rocks and putting them in the bucket of the skid loader.

According to the Clark County Sheriff's Office report, the 3-year-old boy bent down to pick up a rock between the front tire of the loader and the bucket. The 5-year-old didn't see his little brother and accidentally ran over him.

Clark County Medical Examiner Richard Schleifer pronounced the boy dead at the scene.

According to the National Children's Center for Rural Agriculture Health and Safety, every three days a child dies in an agriculture-related incident.