Rural New Athens Farmer Dies Following Monday’s Field Accident

Rural New Athens farmer Burt “Charlie” Kreher Jr. died Monday night, April 30, at a St. Louis hospital from injuries sustained in a farming accident on his property along Klein School Road, off Rt. 156 between Hecker and New Athens.

Earlier that day, Kreher, 53, had been using a tractor to pull a field cultivator and an anhydrous ammonia tank. While in the field Kreher got off the tractor to make a repair on one of the units. As he worked on the equipment, a hose under high pressure failed, thus releasing that pressure. The hose and other parts knocked him sharply on the head. The force of the impact threw him away from the machinery. A witness immediately called 911; soon on the scene were Hecker first responders, an ambulance, firefighters from Hecker and New Athens, and St. Clair County deputies.

Kreher was transported by Arch helicopter to a St. Louis hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Kreher is survived by two sons, a brother, two sisters, his mother, and numerous family and friends. Funeral arrangements are pending.