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Town’s former mayor dies

Ex-leader of Burlington badly hurt in bulldozer accident

Former Burlington, Wash., Mayor Gus Tjeerdsma died Friday afternoon at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he had been in intensive care since a bulldozer accident on Feb. 4 in Mount Vernon, according to a Web site maintained by his family.

“Today is a sad day: At 3:40 we lost our father, brother, uncle and husband. I will post more about what will happen as far as the funeral on this journal,” the latest Web page entry from Lloyd Tjeerdsma states.

The 68-year-old former mayor had been critically injured while working a bulldozer on private property.

Tjeerdsma suffered traumatic injuries to his legs, pelvis and left arm when his bulldozer thrust backward while he stood on the tread. He was crushed between the tread and the fuel tank, according to his family.

The family was still hopeful as recently as Thursday after he made it through yet another surgery, this one to remove necrotic tissue, according to the Web page.

Over the past two weeks, more than 215 notes had been left on the Web site’s guestbook as friends and community members wished Tjeerdsma a speedy recovery, followed Friday evening by notes of sympathy for his family.


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