A hay baling accident claimed the life of a 69-year-old Erath County woman on Saturday.

Sandy Steele died after she reportedly became trapped in a hay baler while working outside with her husband in the 16000 block of Hwy. 281.

The Erath County Sheriff’s Office released a short statement about the accident late Monday afternoon. 

“Upon arrival deputies discovered that a female was deceased,” the statement says. “The cause of death is under investigation.”

According to Farm Injury Resource Center, accidents involving hay balers occur every year.

“Every year, hundreds of farmers suffer amputations, loss of skin and tissue and other bodily mutilation from being pulled into hay balers,” the website states. “Other deaths and injuries result from being crushed by hay bales, which can weigh up to 2,000 pounds.”

Steele led the Basic Needs Ministry at Graham Street Church of Christ. 

The non-profit ministry provides food and clothing to those in need.

As news of Steele’s passing spread on social media, there was an outpouring of grief.  

“I only knew Sandy through ministry, but the moment I met her, it was readily apparent that she was a true Christian with a heart for service and those in need,” Amanda Jenkins told the E-T. “She helped many through Basic Needs, and was always ready to lend a hand to other non-profits as well. She had a generous spirit and always greeted those she met with a smile. Our community has lost a special lady.”