Boy crushed by farm equipment
Father charged with reckless homicide
The father of a 2-year-old boy who died in a farm accident is charged with second-degree reckless homicide.
District Attorney Veronica Isherwood filed a Class D felony charge against Caleb A. Schachtschneider, 39, St. Lawrence, on May 19.
He was summoned to make an initial court appearance on June 1.
Schachtschneider faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
According to the criminal complaint, Schachtschneider called 911 around 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 5, and reported that his 2-year-old son had been crushed by a skid steer.
When Waupaca County Deputy David Rogers responded to Schachtschneider’s farm on County Trunk E, north of Ogdensburg, he found paramedics working on a small boy who was bleeding from the nose and mouth.
The boy was later airlifted to ThedaCare in Neenah, then transported to Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee, where he succumbed to his injuries.
Schachtschneider reportedly told Rogers that he was using the skid steer to clear manure and the boy was sitting on his lap.
While Schachtschneider was lowering the bucket, the boy fell forward and his head hit between the cross member on the bucket boom and the frame of the skid steer.
The complaint says Schachtschneider believed he was still lowering the bucket when it crushed his son’s head.
Schachtschneider reportedly told Detective Sgt. Pete Kraeger that the 2-year-old boy rode with him in the skid steer about two to three times per week.
He also said he had removed the machine’s front door.
This was not the first time one of Schachtschneider’s children were injured on the steer skid.
In 2017, Schachtschneider’s then 5-year-old son was seriously injured when the machine’s hydraulic bucket tore the skin off his left leg, from his knee to his ankle. The boy was airlifted to the hospital for multiple surgeries.
Two years earlier, Schachtschneider’s then 6-year-old son drove the skid steer into his 7-year-old brother, sending him to the hospital, the complaint says.