Athol man killed after car falls off jack during repairs

ATHOL, Mass. — The family of a man killed while working under a car in Athol Wednesday hopes awareness of their tragedy prevents another family’s heartache.

Michael Horne, Sr., was repairing his son’s car in the driveway when the car fell off the jack and pinned him.

“He did this so many times. He did this probably hundreds of times. So, he was very versed with working with cars,” Horne’s daughter Arlene Horne told Boston 25 News Friday. “It just seems like this is a dream, and I haven’t woken up quite yet.”

Horne, a Worcester native who had moved to Athol a few years ago to be closer to family, was a handyman, often repairing cars and doing construction.

The Northwestern District Attorney’s Office said Horne’s death is the second time this month someone in the district has been killed by a car that had been raised up on jacks.

On July 19, in Montague, a 30-year-old man was killed when the car he was working on fell and trapped him.

The DA’s Office is now warning people working on cars to use the proper equipment and take extra precautions when working on gravel driveways, as Horne was.

“This was a tragic incident I wouldn’t want happening to anybody,” Arlene said. “This could happen to anybody that works with vehicles. So, I think practicing safety is really important. Even if you’ve done it a million times, it could happen. Just make sure your extra supports are there.”

Arlene and her sister Destiny told Boston 25 News their father will be remembered as a selfless family member and friend.

“He was an amazing father,” Arlene said. “I think the only thing in this world that mattered to him was his children and his grandchildren as well.”

“My dad was a very giving person. No matter who it was that needed help, he was giving his time or extra money,” Destiny added. “My dad was a very big part of everyone’s life. And so, losing him suddenly was very difficult for everyone.”

Along with Horne’s two daughters, he leaves behind two sons and three grandchildren. A third son died last year.

Community members are raising money to cover Horne’s funeral expenses. To donate to the GoFundMe account, click here: Fundraiser by Arlene Horne : Michael Anthony Hazard Horne Sr. (gofundme.com).

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