Colorado bowling alley owner dies, got stuck in pinsetter


FLORENCE, Colo. (AP) — The owner of a southern Colorado bowling alley has died after getting stuck in a pin setting machine.

Police in Florence, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southwest of Denver, say they responded to a call early Sunday afternoon and found 65-year-old Ector Rodriguez of Penrose stuck in the machine at Fremont Lanes. He was unconscious and not breathing.

Emergency responders determined he had died.

Florence Police Chief Michael De Laurentis says no foul play is suspected and the death is believed to be an accident.

“He went back to service the machine. The employee said she hasn’t seen him in about 15-20 minutes. She went back to check on him and that’s when she found him trapped in the machine and called 911,” said Police Chief Mike DeLaurentis.  

The community, meanwhile, lost a friendly face and a generous heart. 

“He was a manager as well as mechanic,” the bowling alley’s former owner, Larry Baker, told 8News affiliate KXRM.  

Baker said Ector Rodriguez worked for him when he owned before eventually running the place himself.    

Rodriguez worked with the old pinsetter and knew the equipment well.  

“I could just think of the many things that could go wrong. It wasn’t new equipment, there was some age,” Baker said.

“It hurts,” Baker added. “This is not a good day.” 

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