Wayne County man dies in farming accident

corn field

WOOSTER, Ohio — A Wayne County farmer died Oct. 20 after falling inside of a concrete silo chute he was climbing.

Rhett Acker, 32, of 6110 Kister Road, was pronounced dead shortly after 11 a.m. — after attempts to rescue him were unsuccessful.

Acker was still conscious and communicating with rescue personnel when they arrived, said Wooster Township Fire Chief Chris Shook.

Rescue attempt

He said Acker told them he had fallen about six feet and became wedged — but during the rescue attempt — he fell even further, and medics were unable to revive him.

Rhett Acker

Shook said about 24 local fire and rescue personnel were on site, and were trying to lower a harness from above, with the goal of lifting him, and then lowering him out the bottom of the chute.

“His injuries kind of overcame him before we were able to get him out,” Shook said.

Emergency response

Shook said Metro Life Flight was on scene, along with Wooster City’s Confined Space Rescue Team.

Wayne County Coroner Dr. Amy Jolliff told The Daily Record that the position Acker was in would have made breathing difficult, causing a buildup of carbon dioxide in the body, potentially causing the heart to stop.

”It’s horrible and our troops are kind of down today,” Shook said. “We’re not accustomed to an unsuccessful rescue attempt.”

Rhett was married to his wife, Lisa, in 2015, and is also survived by an infant daughter.

Farm and Dairy is working on a story about his influence in the local ag scene and his involvement with Wayne County agriculture.


Up-to-date agriculture news in your inbox!


  1. Although I have never met the Acker family, my heart goes out to his family. It is so difficult to learn of the passing of one of the hard-working members of the farm community. May God graciously comfort his wife and tiny daughter.


We are glad you have chosen to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated according to our comment policy.

Receive emails as this discussion progresses.