On August 29th, 2022, at approximately 4:03 P.M., the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office responded to a medical emergency in a field near the intersection of 360th Avenue and County Road 17 in Melrose Township. This location is approximately 3 miles north of the City of Melrose.
Upon arrival deputies learned that Eric Zirbes, 45, of Melrose, was operating a New Holland self-propelled Discbine in a nearby alfalfa field when Michael Zirbes, 76, of Sauk Centre, had stopped by and was speaking to Eric. While climbing down the ladder on the side of the equipment, attempting to get off the discbine, Michael fell to the ground. The height of the fall was estimated to be 5 to 6 feet. He came to rest against the equipment’s tire. Michael was treated on scene and transported to the Melrose Hospital by Melrose Ambulance Service where he passed away as a result of the accident.
The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, Melrose Police Department, Melrose Fire and Rescue Service, and the Minnesota State Patrol responded to assist at the scene.