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A longtime member of Sanpete County's search and rescue team died Wednesday afternoon in a work accident west of Ephraim.

Sheriff's Deputy Eric Zeeman said Cheston Madsen, who owned a plumbing and excavating contractor, jumped into a trench in order to remove a home's septic tank about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

While in the trench, Madsen was crushed between a bucket that was being moved and the side of the hole, Zeeman said. He died instantly.

Madsen had previously served as the county's search and rescue team's commander and remained very involved with the organization up until his death.

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