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Longtime South Boston finance director killed in tractor accident

SoVaNow.com / April 25, 2010
Longtime South Boston Finance Director Vandie Saunders was killed Sunday afternoon in a freak accident at his home in the Cluster Springs community.

Sheriff Stanley Noblin said Sunday afternoon at 5 p.m. that he understood the accident resulted when Saunders hooked his bushhog up to a tractor in the yard of his home. Somehow, the tractor got in gear, pulling the bushhog over Saunders for some distance until the tractor came to a halt upon striking a tree. Noblin said the accident happened sometime around 2:30-3 p.m.

Rescue personnel and members of the Cluster Springs Fire Department were called to the scene at Saunders¹ home, near the Mennonite Church on U.S. 501 in the Cluster Springs area. Noblin said he understood Saunders' death was confirmed after he was taken to the local emergency room by rescue personnel.

Saunders retired as South Boston¹s finance director in January 2007 after more than 30 years of service to the town, Town Clerk Jane Jones recalled yesterday. In retirement, Saunders continued to work part-time for Tommy¹s Refuse RW Salvage in South Boston.

Tommy Wilkins, owner of the business, said late Sunday afternoon that he had heard about Saunders' death only a short time ago. He called Saunders "a good man."

"I lost a good friend and let me tell you, it hurts," said Wilkins. "He did an excellent, excellent job for me. I miss him already."

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