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Felts Mills man killed in Air Brake accident was father of 4 known for his strength

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WATERTOWN — A father of four known for shouldering more than his share of the burden at work was killed in an industrial accident Monday afternoon at New York Air Brake when he became trapped under heavy equipment he was helping to move.

Christopher S. Getman, 28, Felts Mills, was sometimes called “Moose” by his friends and coworkers for his capacity to carry weight and work hard, according to his mother, Margaret C. Getman.

A 2004 graduate of Carthage Central School, Mr. Getman was married to Latesha LaMay-Getman, and had two daughters, a son and a stepdaughter, Mrs. Getman said.

He worked for P&M Construction at 759 Starbuck Ave., just down the road from the Air Brake plant, where P&M was contracted to do work.

At 2:11 p.m., members of the Watertown Fire Department, Guilfoyle Ambulance, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department and the Watertown city police responded to Air Brake, 748 Starbuck Ave., on a report of an industrial accident.

Mr. Getman had become trapped under heavy equipment he had been moving and was pronounced dead at the scene by Jefferson County Medical Examiner Dr. Samuel Livingstone, according to Lt. Joseph R. Donoghue. Details of the accident were not disclosed.

The profile picture on Mr. Getman’s Facebook page shows a smiling man, wearing a camouflage sweatshirt and a few days’ worth of stubble, proudly displaying a 10-point buck in the back of a pickup truck.

The last public post, from September 2013, is a link to the song “Go Rest High On That Mountain” by country singer Vince Gill. It bears the message, “Doesn’t seem like eleven years I miss u bro.”

Mr. Getman’s brother, Gregory A., was 13 when he was killed in 2002 in an all-terrain-vehicle accident.

Now, Mrs. Getman said, all she has left is her only daughter.

“It’s a rough time right now,” she said.

New York Air Brake President Michael J. Hawthorne issued a statement offering condolences to the victim’s family on behalf of the company.

“New York Air Brake is deeply saddened by the death this afternoon of an employee of a service provider company working in our Watertown facility. Our most sincere sympathies go out to the victim’s family. We are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding this incident, working in full cooperation with local authorities,” Mr. Hawthorne said.

City police are continuing an investigation of the accident with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, New York Air Brake and P&M Construction, Lt. Donoghue said.

Times staff writer Craig Fox contributed to this report.

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