A western Nebraska irrigation district employee has died after falling into a blazing ditch, where he was burning weeds.
The accident occurred Friday afternoon, killing 67-year-old Llewellyn Mattern. Investigators say Mattern, who worked for the Pathfinder irrigation district, slipped down a ditch embankment and fell an estimated 11 feet into the fire.
Deputy Scotts Bluff County Coroner Jeremy Anderson says Mattern was taken to a Scottsbluff hospital with severe burns over 75 percent of his body and was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later.
An autopsy is planned next week.