Pin-reset machine crushes bowling-alley worker William James Martens, report says

Published On: Apr 23 2013 02:47:24 AM HST   Updated On: Apr 29 2013 06:00:00 PM HST

A man was crushed while working on a bowling-pin reset machine at an alley in Panama City Beach, according to a report.

William James Martens was trapped in the machine for as long as 15 minutes, witnesses told

Workers at Rock'It Lanes called 911 after they saw a family bowling in one of the lanes repeatedly hitting the reset button. Eventually, one of the bowlers saw an arm hanging out of the machine and went up for a closer look. That's when she saw Martens' body trapped in the machine, the report said.

Workers had to manually crank the machine off of him, and when medical help arrived, Martens was blue and not breathing, according to

Crews resuscitated him and took him to a hospital, where he was in critical condition Monday night.

Workers told investigators there may have been a mixup about which machine Martens was supposed to work on. One of them said, however, he didn't know why Martens didn't follow the standard procedure of turning off the machine's power before working on it.


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