Mexican Migrant Worker’s Tragic Death Under Examination on North Carolina Farm


Earlier this September, a migrant worker hailing from Mexico tragically lost his life on a North Carolina farm, Barnes Farming. His untimely demise coincided with a day where temperatures soared close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The cause of the tragic incident is now under examination by the state’s labor department.

Emergency medical professionals dashed to the scene following a distress call about an individual suffering a cardiac or respiratory arrest at Barnes Farming in Spring Hope, roughly 40 miles east of Raleigh. José Arturo Gónzalez Mendoza, the decried worker, unfortunately passed away on-site. Barnes Farming confirmed his death to WRAL, an affiliate partner of the CNN network.

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Emergency reports illustrate the extreme heat as a significant factor influencing Mendoza’s condition. However, the precise cause of the death is yet to be confirmed. Mendoza’s passing occurred mere days following his initiation into the farm’s workforce.

Mendoza had been working on the sweet potato harvest on September 5, when he complained about his wellbeing to his field supervisor. Feeling unwell, Mendoza took respite on a bus used as a shuttle for worker transportation to the farm’s fields. His supervisor, in coordination with an HR manager, dialed 911 after checking on him.

This day was marked by extensive high-temperature readings in Nash County with a heat index shooting up to 104 degrees by mid-week. Although Barnes Farming was unable to pinpoint the cause of the tragic occurrence, state authorities have now taken over, performing an autopsy.

A company’s statement assured that Barnes Farming is highly committed to the welfare of their staff and has always prioritized health and safety since its inception. Furthermore, they highlighted the importance of each worker to the company and expressed their deepest condolences for the loss of Mendoza.

Previous records reveal that Barnes Farming has faced multiple inspections by the State’s Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Division, on issues ranging from hazardous chemicals to inadequate toilet facilities.

Despite the harsh conditions, support flowed for Mendoza’s family. The local Latino community nonprofit, Casa Azul de Wilson, initiated a GoFundMe campaign, which has raised over $10,700, offering financial aid to the grieving family.

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In accordance with the local community and humanitarian organizations, Barnes Farming is working along with the North Carolina Growers Association to cover expenses pertaining to Mendoza’s funeral and other associated costs. Further efforts are being extended to transport Mendoza’s remains back to Mexico for his burial.

As on date, attempts to solicit a response from Barnes Farming and the Mexican consulate in Raleigh have been met with radio silence.