ONTARIO — A lifelong resident of Vale was killed by machinery on a job site in Ontario on Monday. Malheur County Sheriff Wolfe confirmed the victim was Gary Kamo, as his office had to notify Kamo’s wife of the death.
However, the case is being handled by the Ontario Police Department, which has not returned multiple requests for comment regarding details surrounding the accident.
Sgt. Victor Grimaldo confirmed during a phone interview this morning that the death happened on private property, but did not provide any other information, saying the sergeant on duty had not filed a report on the incident which happened sometime Monday evening.
Wolfe said he could not provide many details because it was an OPD case, but did confirm that the police log stated it was a wheel loader, and that other people were on the site working at the time.
“He was a great guy,” Wolfe, who is also from Vale, said of Kamo.
According to Kamo’s death notice in The Argus Observer on Tuesday, he was 72 years old.
This morning, Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it is looking into the incident.
According to previous articles in the Argus, Kamo was born in Ontario.
He was a graduate of Vale High School, where he was in track, wrestling and football, also picking up the latter at Treasure Valley Community College.
Kamo was also a wrestling referee for Idaho District 3 for more than 30 years and refereed at multiple state tournaments.
He and his brother, Doug, started Kamo Farms Incorporated in 1976 and farmed in the Vale area for most of their adult life until Doug’s illness forced them to sell the family farm.
Kamo was known to stay busy doing custom work with heavy machinery and contracting with the Bureau of Land Management for summer firefighting.
He served on the Vale City Council, and received a Citizen Award from the Vale Chamber of Commerce in 2016.