Panama City, FL – William Martens was performing some maintenance work at Rockit Lanes Sunday afternoon when he somehow got crushed by a bowling pin machine.
According to News Channel 7, a family had been using lane 7 when the pinsetter malfunctioned. The family were moved to lane 8 while Martens worked on the malfunctioning machine.
The family was moved back to lane 7 after it had been repaired and because lane 8 had also malfunctioned. When the family could not get lane 7 to reset, they kept hitting the lane reset button. They stopped doing that when a woman in their group looked down the lane and saw an arm hanging out of the machine.
An employee rushed to the area behind the lanes and found Marten’s upper body trapped in the pinsetter machine. Employees had to call another mechanic who informed them how to turn off the machine and how to manually crank the machine off of Martens.
By time EMS arrived and assisted several other employees in getting Martens freed, the man had been trapped for almost 15 minutes and was not breathing. EMS crews were able to resuscitate Martens and rush him to the hospital where he is currently listed in critical condition.
An employee told police that Martens may not have understood his instructions to work on lane 8, thinking he was going back to work on lane 7. Even so, employees do not understand why he did not turn off the machine, which is standard operating procedures.